The Message of Good Friday & Easter 

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! 

A Christmas Reminder

I was standing on my back deck in tears.

I asked my wife to join me in prayer with the hopes that God would bring some level of peace to my heart. Just before praying I mentioned to Andrea, “What does celebrating a baby in the manger have to do with what is going on in my life right now?”

There were three plates spinning. A personal health concern that worsened by the day. A looming job change and the agony that comes with saying good-bye. And a sudden family crisis that brought me deep sadness the more I thought about it.


I had begun to study the Christmas story in Luke 2 in preparation to teach during the month of December. With it fresh on my mind, I stood on my back deck asking a legitimate question, “What does celebrating a baby in the manger have to do with what is going on in my life right now?” We were preparing to leave later in the day for the Thanksgiving holiday. But as you would expect in the moment, holiday marketing and the nostalgia of family traditions and Thanksgiving were not even on my radar. I was fearful. Discouraged. Hurting. And in need of help.

My wife and I paused to pray. I confessed my disillusionment and what I perceived to be true. I gave thanks to God for the circumstances along with asking for peace to help me get through the day (Phil. 4:6-7). And surprisingly, as I prayed, I experienced a peace that I couldn’t explain.

A few hours go by and the family and I get in the car and make our way towards our relative’s house for the holidays. As we drove, I could not help noticing the dazzling colors the sunset brought that evening. And as the day turned to night and the sky changed from red to deep blue, I found myself contemplating the creation story.

I thought about Colossians 1 which speaks of Christ’s supremacy and him being God’s agent in creation. It says in verses 16-17, “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” 1

As I repeatedly glanced up, I marveled at the expansiveness of the sky and the thought that Jesus was involved in creating all of it.

And then the answer to my question from earlier in the day came. This same babe who was laid in a manger was fully human and fully God. He is the one who, according to Colossians and Hebrews 1, “holds all things together” and is “sustaining all things by his powerful word.” 2 He was God, very God, and at the same time a helpless baby, totally in control of all things.

This reality that the baby in the manager was the “one who created all things” and the one “who holds everything together by the power of his word” caused me to step back from all that was going on in my world and rest. He was in control then. He is in control now.

As I began to rest in this reality, I was reminded of what the gospel writer Matthew wrote when he quoted the prophet Isaiah. He said,

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 3

Not only is Jesus sovereign and in control, but he was given the name “Immanuel” (which means, God with us). God, very God, came to be with his people. And so the message of Christmas was relevant to the message that I needed to hear that day. God is with me.

And so as you journey through this holiday season and close out a very difficult year, please hear these words of encouragement and hope.

Jesus is holding ALL things together. And the one who is holding all thing together is WITH YOU.


1 Col. 1:16-17 New International Version
2 Heb. 1:3 New International Version
3 ESV Matt. 1:23