Good Friday? Strange to title such a grotesque day in history as good.
With today being Good Friday and what we as believers celebrate as the day that Christ was crucified on the cross I thought I would take a moment and take a look at the 2 major events that are celebrated over the Easter weekend. The gospel is clearly lived out and told through the crucifixion of Christ on the cross and the empty tomb of His resurrection.
Sin on the Cross
In the post “What Does Jesus Save Us From?” I explained that we are saved from God’s wrath. We experience God’s wrath because of our sin (Romans 1:18-32). What we as humans are desperately in need is for someone to save us from the consequence of our sins, to forgive us of our sins, to pay the penalty of our sins. God know that the only thing that would satisfy His wrath would be the overwhelming payment of the death of His son Jesus. How great is it for someone to believe that God would send the rescuer from His own wrath and He sent Himself! The penalty of our our sin is death (Romans 6:23). See, someone had to die for our sins, and who is good enough to pay that penalty? Definitely not us. Jesus being God in the flesh is the only one who could satisfy the penalty for us, so He endured the cross, shed His own blood, and died in our place. He took the penalty of our sins upon Himself on the cross.
Our sins are paid for and forgiven on the cross of Christ, but that’s just half of the story, half the Gospel. What would have happened if Jesus stopped at the cross?
The Empty Tomb
Having our sins forgiven is a miracle in itself, but if God stops there, if He stops with Christ work on the cross we are left forgiven but not alive. For us, just having not to bear the wrath of God would have been enough. This is the extreme mercy of God! But this is not enough for our God! He wanted us alive! To live for eternity worshiping Him, living life to the fullest in His unhindered presence. It is for this reason that on the third day God raised Jesus from ‘the dead (Acts 10:40). This is the extreme grace of God! When God raises Jesus from the dead, He paves the ways for us to also raise to life when our earthly bodies die. When Jesus followers find His tomb empty what they don’t realize they are looking at is how their own tombs will be, how our graves as believers will be…EMPTY!
It Takes Both
If Jesus is just raised from the dead, then our sins are still unforgiven and we have to deal with the wrath of God. If Jesus is just crucified on the cross then our sins are forgiven but we have no hope of eternity. This is why this Easter I am asking you to praise Jesus for both the cross and the empty tomb. Romans 10:9 says,
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
It is believing that God raised Jesus to life after His death on the cross that saves us from God’s wrath!
This is why I love the empty tomb!
© Jonathan Haley Uhrig 2014