We are in the middle of the most important week of the Christian calendar. Historically it is called “Holy Week.” Some refer to it as “Passion Week” highlighting the passion with which Jesus went to the cross to make payment for his people’s sin.
But within this week there are a few days that stand out above the rest. Can you guess what they are?
Friday and Sunday.
Friday is known as “Good Friday” marking the day in which Jesus actually died. Sunday is obviously “Easter Sunday” marking the day in which Jesus rose from the dead.
But why are these two days so important?
For years I’ve viewed these days primarily as historical. Meaning real events took place on these days. But they had no bearing on my life. They were real but they really didn’t matter.
But when I became a Christian, my life dramatically changed and the meaning of these days changed. In fact they somehow grow sweeter by the year.
So what do these days say to the Christian (and even Non Christian) when it comes to their relationship with God?
If I had to summarize it, it would be this:
Good Friday reminds me that I am forgiven. And because I am forgiven I have nothing to hide.
When you know you have done wrong you often try to hide it. It’s why we lie or go out of our way to cover things up.
But for the Christian, he or she experiences a freedom to do the opposite of covering up their sins because every sin they ever committed has been forgiven. And since it has they are free to be open and honest. In essence they come out of hiding. They do the opposite of what Adam and Eve did in the beginning when they were caught in their sin.
In light of Good Friday, Christians are free to admit what is true about their weaknesses, sins, and failures. They no longer fear the punishment that their sin deserves from God the Father because Jesus died in their place and for their sin. They are able to sing with the hymn writer,
“(My sins) are nailed to the Cross and I bare it no more. Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, oh my soul!”
Dear friend, is there something in your life that you need to ask God to forgive you for? Or is there something that you are hiding and ashamed to admit? I want to encourage you with the meaning of Good Friday: you are forgiven and can come out of hiding.
Well, in brief Easter Sunday reminds Christians that they are justified (or righteous). Christians are seen in God’s eyes as righteous and therefore have nothing to prove. Romans 4:25 states, “He was delivered over to death for our sins, and was raised to life, for our justification.”
Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, God the father has declared his people righteous in his eyes. And because he has done so, they no longer must earn or prove themselves to him. He excepts them based upon Jesus’s record of righteousness, not theirs. And because he does, Christians are free to quit trying to earn his approval and acceptance. They already have it.
Dear friend, are you trying to earn God’s approval today? If you are a Christian, please remember that you already have it.
If you’re not a Christian, you can have the Father’s approval by virtue of trusting in Jesus’s perfect life and atoning death for you. He lived the perfect life that you could not live.
But he not only lived a perfect life for you, he died in your place, and for your sin so that you can be forgiven. This is good news. Will you accept and receive this? It is free for all who ask.
Well, if I had to condense the message of Good Friday and Easter to just three words, it would be this:
You are free!