For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
The importance of Good Friday can never be overstated. At its core, Good Friday is a statement of love and as a result the cross has become a powerful symbol. God’s love and grace were on full display and we must accept this unparalleled gift to be saved.
Any consideration of acts of discipline must be secondary to God’s grace, because we are not saved by works. However, I hope we have learned two important principles over the last 39 days:
- Love (God’s definition) is the most potent motivation for consistent practice of the disciplines;
- The practice of the disciplines help us to demonstrate and grow in our love for God and others.
Good Friday is a great day to reflect on the first principle, because it is not an exaggeration to say that Jesus, who is love, demonstrated all of the disciplines we studied on Good Friday. Were it not for the death of our saviour on the cross, the last 39 days we have spent focusing on the disciplines would have been futile. We love Him because He loved us first. In light of Calvary, Isn’t He deserving of our love? We can demonstrate and grow in our love for him by practicing the disciplines.
If you have limited time today, you can stop right here and just reflect on the amazing sacrifice of Jesus and the gratitude we should live out every day. If you do have a few more minutes, please take the time to read below how the disciplines were all manifested on Good Friday and listen to a great song.
- Bible Study: Jesus quotes and fulfills prophecy on Good Friday – He validates the importance of studying the word of God. Note the words of Jesus in Luke 22:37 (which is a fulfillment of Isaiah 53:12) – “It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
- Spiritual Warfare: In Luke 22:53 Jesus says, “But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.” Jesus always see things through spiritual eyes.
- Prayer: In Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Even to the “end” Jesus is committed to prayer.
- Fasting: Jesus refused to use the narcotics offered to dull the pain of the crucifixion. In Mark 15:23 we read, “Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.”
- Worship: In Luke 22:42 Jesus said “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Jesus was all about giving his Father glory.
- Creation: Creation cried out on Good Friday. Mark 15:33 tells us, “At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.” God’s creation speaks to us.
- Fellowship: In John 19: 26-27 we read, When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”
- Counsel: Even in the midst of his torture, it is obvious that Jesus was still dispensing wise counsel to many (e.g., his disciples, his mother, the thief on the cross). I note though there was not a lot of dialogue with the religious leaders, and I am reminded of the dire consequence of not being prepared to listen to wise counsel.
- Service: Every act of Jesus on Good Friday was an act of immense service to humanity. 1 Peter 2:24 says, “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
- Stewardship: The fact that Jesus submitted to the will of His father on Good Friday is very obvious, so I will give two other people a shout out for their actions on the day. The two are, Joseph of Arimethea and Nicodemus who also demonstrated stewardship. John 19:40-41 reads, “Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid.”
Mankind had never seen and will never see a greater act of love than the sacrifice on Calvary more than 2000 years ago. There really is no greater love. Have a blessed Good Friday.