Today, on Good Friday, Christians of every denomination all over the world remember Jesus’ sacrifice and death on the cross. Many will use it as a time of reflection and personal sacrifice. Some will do this in the privacy of their homes or rooms, sharing this time with only their close friends and family.
Others seek out groups of fellow believers, and may even go on pilgrimages of sorts. Some may take part in what others would see as odd practices in order to express their faith.
Personally, I prefer a more simple approach to my reflections on this day, though I won’t claim that this is the best and only way to remember His sacrifice. I believe that if your faith calls you to do something different in order to express yourself, if you believe that you are called to gather with others, or travel someplace, or practice a personal sacrifice on this day, that our Lord will honor how you express your faith.
I would, however, like to share some of the personal reflections I myself have had this day, especially for those like me who want to meditate on His suffering and death on this day.
Jesus Chose This Sacrifice
One of the more important points about Jesus’ sacrifice and death is that this was a path that He chose to take. It was no accident that He fell into the hands of those that wanted Him dead, no accident that He walked the road to Calvary carrying the cross, no accident that He suffered and died.
Every moment of His life, in fact every moment in history, prepared Him for this day. Even in the days leading to His crucifixion, He could have chosen another path that would have allowed Him to escape.
In fact, the night before in the garden of Gethsemane, he agonized in prayer and even asked to be spared his coming suffering. But He chose the coming suffering, His coming death, in complete submission to the will of God.
Jesus’ Suffering And Death Was Real
There are some who believe that Jesus suffering and death wasn’t real, that He was in some way protected from the worst of it because of His divinity.
This is one of the great heresies, as this would suggest that His suffering and His death was meaningless to Him. But the opposite is true. Returning to the accounts at the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus can be seen as a man who was in emotional turmoil.
He sought out the company of His closest friends, He prayed so hard his sweat was blood. He prayed for so long that His companions fell asleep waiting for Him. These were not the actions of a man whose coming death did not weigh heavily upon Him.
Jesus’ Death Was Necessary And Important
As part of God’s plan for our Salvation, a sacrifice was necessary, one that would take the sins of all the world and allow us to be cleansed and become God’s children. Jesus had to become the sacrifice for all the world, and nobody else could take His place. No other sacrifice would do, no other life could be given in exchange for all the others, no other price would be sufficient. It had to be Jesus who died on that cross for our sins.
Jesus Sacrifice Was Done Out Of His Great Love
One of the most important points about His death on the cross is the fact that He did it out of love. Not just because of His duty to the Father, not just out of submission to the Will of God, though these definitely are part of his sacrifice.
It was His great love for us that led Him down the path that led to Calvary, His great love for us that He didn’t find a way to escape His suffering and death. And because He loved us so much, He paid the price for our sins, wiped our sins away and made us free.
Your Good Friday Reflection
On this Good Friday, I would encourage you to take the time to meditate and reflect on not only these things that I have shared with you, but also on other facets and facts about His suffering and death, or even about your Christian life in general. Use my own reflections as starting points, but remember that His Word is an even better starting point for your own personal reflections.