Good Friday is the true “Friday for Future”. What happened on Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified 2,000 years ago, has the power to determine the course of our life and our entire future, like nothing else.
No one takes my life from Me
When Jesus came into the world, he had one purpose: to die. For three years, his life and ministry attracted the crowds in 1st century Judea. He preached many sermons, told many parables, but one pivotal statement he made was: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) And when he died that Friday 2,000 years ago, his final words were: “Tetelestai – mission accomplished!”
Jesus’ crucifixion came as a shock even for his closest friends. It seemed to be the anti-climax of his life. They had believed Jesus was the promised Messiah, the promised King who would kick the Romans out of the land of Israel and restore the dynasty of King David (read Acts 1).
But Jesus had again and again spoken of his upcoming death. He even made it clear, that dying was his intention all along: “No one takes my life from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.” (John 10:18) And Jesus’ crucifixion was not his defeat, it was his victory.
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Living life to the fullest
How was Jesus’ death on the cross a victory? “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) Jesus died, so we can live life to the fullest. Doesn’t make much sense, right? The clue is in one of the verses quoted above (Mark 10:45): His life was to be “a ransom” for us. The Bible tells us we are all enslaved to sin. Remember the story of Adam, Eve and the fruit from the forbidden tree? That’s when sin gained control over mankind. Since then, our human nature is prone to sin. We are not sinners because we sin; we do sin because we are sinners.
Our sinful nature separates us from our destiny and prevents us from fully enjoying life. God carefully and lovingly created us and assigned us a purpose in life. He gave us our intellect, talents, passions and dreams, and the capability to fulfil these. But we need God’s help to reach our great potential and use it for his kingdom.
It is our sin that prevents us from connecting to God. Sin is like a slave-master who won’t let go of us. That’s why Jesus speaks of his life as a “ransom for many”. When Jesus died on the cross, he bought our freedom.
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What about our planet?
When God created our planet, the made everything perfect. It was us, who had been given the privilege to steward this beautiful planet, who messed up. Yet even for that, God has a solution. He is well aware that we need the planet to be whole and a safe place for us. He knows we depend on unpolluted air, clean water, sun and rain.
That’s why God’s salvation is not limited to the human race, it includes nature too: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV) God wants us to return to him, to be restored. And he also has plans to one day restore our planet.
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