Lent Devotions 2008: Friday 21 March

Jesus said to her, “I Am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

Why do they call it Good Friday? It certainly wasn’t good for Jesus. He was physically tortured; He died in agony; and He suffered the pain of hell for you and me as He was forsaken by God because of our sin. It certainly wasn’t a Good Friday for Jesus.

But it was a Good Friday for us. Our damnable sins were placed on the shoulders of Jesus as He hung on the cross. Jesus in our place experienced the eternal punishment we deserved because of our unrighteousness. The debt we owed God (an unpayable debt) was paid in full by Jesus (It is finished). So for us it truly is a Good Friday.

And on this day, we rejoice to know that God must kill us (our old sinful nature) in order to raise us to a new life. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life, because He is the one who puts to death and brings to Life. Do you know that you have already died? Yes, in your Baptisms you died with Christ and were buried with Him. But you were also raised to new life with Him in that same Baptism because in Baptism we were united with Christ. So even though we died to our old sinful ways, we were resurrected into a new life with Christ. This new life is characterised by faith in this same Jesus Christ. His Word (the Law) has killed our old sinful nature, but that same Word (the Gospel) has given us new life; a life which will never end.

On this Good Friday, Jesus asks us the same question He asked Mary, “Do you believe this?”

Prayer: Gracious Jesus, thank You for dying for our sins. Thank You for putting our old sinful natures to death. Thank You for resurrecting us to new life in You, now and forever, Amen.