1 Peter 1:17b-19 (NASV)
“…Conduct yourselves… knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things, like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood as of a lamb unblemished and spotless – the blood of Christ.”
Ever wonder why Good Friday is called “Good” Friday? Apparently, there’s no clear explanation for this traditional designation. But, very clearly, the work of Christ on the cross – to submit himself to be sacrificed that we might be saved from death – is the epitome of “good”-ness.
When we truly contemplate the fact that the Son of God took on flesh like us, walked the way of people like you and me, showed us how to love and forgive, and then gave his “unblemished” life for our lives, we cannot help but be eternally grateful. Gratitude, however, while essential, is not sufficient.
God’s gift compels us to turn from and to repent of our “futile way of life” that led to the necessity of Christ’s redeeming act. Shouldn’t the reality of both Christ’s sacrifice and (soon to come!) his raising from the dead transform us into disciples who desire to live differently – more… “good” – than we otherwise would have? I don’t believe that we can look squarely at the Good Friday cross and fail to be changed by it.
It is my fervent hope and prayer that, with God’s help, I can wrap my head around the fact that I’ve been redeemed by something precious indeed. I want to embrace each day the transformation that Christ offers those who love, cling to, and follow him. If neither the cross nor the tomb could limit Jesus’ love, surely my past failings can’t either.
Dear God, Easter is so close now. But there is no Easter without the sacrifice of Good Friday. As we meditate in these last days of Lent on the profound Good Friday gift and sacrifice of your Son, prepare us to emerge from the tomb of our own doubts, limitations, and sin. Help us to be the Easter people you created us to be… people changed by our Lenten journey and ready to be part of the risen body of Christ in your 2016 world.