I used to hate the term "Good Friday", because when I read of the unimaginable suffering that Jesus, the Only One Who NEVER sinned, endured on my behalf, it brought me to tears.
I didn't always react like that. When I was a teenager, I had no idea what the gospel meant, or why Jesus came to die. I went to an elite boarding school, and I saw others with their designer jeans and fancy cars, and was filled with envy. I'd try to do things on my own, to be better, faster, stronger, smarter than the next girl, so I could swell with pride over my accomplishments. I'd seek out friendships and try to be popular, wanting others to like me, to realize how awesome I was.
Then I began to understand the gospel. It is the good news that declares that although I am a helpless sinner, lost and undone, without hope, under the wrath of God, dead in sin, there is a way out. Jesus is the Way. He paid the debt I could not pay, satisfying the wrath of God, and giving to me new life. He paid for my sins in the past, and He gives me hope for the future. But there's more...He also gives me abundant, joy-filled life for TODAY.
Some quotes to ponder from Paul Tripp:
Does envy preach to you a false gospel that tells you that God hasn't been as faithful and good to you as he's been to others?
Does pride preach to you a false gospel that tells you you're righteous and able on your own, not needing God's forgiving, enabling grace?
Does fear preach to you a false gospel that tells you you're alone and left to the resources of your own wisdom and strength?
By the power of the Spirit opening my eyes, I began to understand that I deserved the wrath of God to be poured out on me, because every intention of the thoughts of my heart was only evil continually. I began to understand the wickedness of envy, because God is the provider who gives us exactly what we need, and to be envious of others is to not be thankful, trusting in God's provision. I began to understand the selfishness of pride, because I wanted to be someone special, rather than trusting in the One who is everything. I began to see that courage comes from trusting God, relying on His Omnipotence and Goodness. As I began to understand the gospel, I understood why they call Good Friday "good" - because it was on the cross that my debt was paid and I was given new life, and set free from death.
The gospel teaches me that God is good, that He is faithful, and that He gives me everything I need for life and godliness.
The gospel teaches me that I am a sinner, that there is no righteousness in me apart from the Righteousness of Jesus Christ who indwells me, and that His grace is sufficient for an abundant life in Him.
The gospel teaches me that I am never alone, that my God will never leave me nor forsake me. It teaches me that I can rely on Him for wisdom, and love others freely by His strength. It teaches me that I am His workmanship, and that my life has purpose as I serve the people He sends my way.
Do you understand this gospel? Do you understand present grace? Or do you have a gap in the middle of the gospel?
Do you think the good news covers the sins you've committed in the past, and gives you a blessed hope for eternal life, but that you must work very hard and be very obedient and rely on your own resources here and now to live a righteous life?
Take the time to listen to Paul Tripp as he explains how the gospel applies to the situations of everyday life:
May Resurrection Sunday remind you of the glories of the Gospel and the Grace of our Beautiful God!