Every year Christians celebrate this time known as Good Friday. Many of us come together in churches to meditate on the death of a man whom we have never seen. To outside ears, it sounds bleak. In reality, it is the beginning of something more wonderful than the world has ever known – peace with God and eternal life with him. That is why we call it good.
Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross shows us God’s love for us, the lengths he went to deal with our sin and rebellion, and the way to new life that is found only in him. Jesus’ death, while a bleak reality, is central to the Christian faith because we know what happened three days later.
We can never attach too much importance to the atoning death of Christ. It is the leading fact in the word of God, on which the eyes of our soul ought to be ever fixed. Without the shedding of his blood, there is no remission of sin. It is the cardinal truth on which the whole system of Christianity hinges. Without it the Gospel is an arch without a key-stone, a fair building without a foundation, a solar system without a sun… This, after all, is the master-truth of Scripture, that “Christ died for our sins.” To this let us daily return. On this let us daily feed our souls…” (Gal. 6:14.) (J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, “Matthew 26”).
As we think upon the cross and what it means for us, here are eleven passages to meditate on as you prepare for Good Friday this week. May they renew and refresh your understanding of God’s love for you in the cross of Christ.
1.“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
2.“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us… For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 5:8 and 6:23).
3.“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).
4.“For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father” (John 10:17-18).
5.“And he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called ‘The Place of a Skull,’ which in Aramaic is called Golgotha… When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:17 and 30).