This is by far my favorite time of the year. I love Holy Week and observing the meaning behind Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. This is the foundation of our faith; if you are a Christian, this is why you have salvation. Today, Good Friday, is the epicenter of all that we stand on and all that we believe. This is the day that our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, was murdered on a cross on Calvary. We need to remember that He was not delicately placed on a two beams of wood in a carpeted cathedral, but rather He was beaten, scourged, bruised, tortured, nailed to a cross and brutally murdered on what is called the place of The Skulls.
One of my favorite accounts in Scripture is found in Matthew 27:54. It talks about the Centurion soldier who nailed Jesus to the cross, and then later realized that this Man was truly the Son of God. I can’t imagine the anguish and regret that must have come over this soldier as he gazed upon the Savior hanging, lifeless, on the cross and knowing that his very actions are what caused Jesus to die. I can’t imagine the ocean of grief that must have flooded through this soldier’s heart as he came to the realization that just hours earlier he tortured and beat on this Man who really was the Son of God. And then I stop to think about it a little more .. and I realize .. that the Centurion soldier represents me. He represents you. He represents all of us.
This happened because you and I are sinful, depraved, disgusting, filthy creatures and we have turned our backs on God and His commands. Our very actions are the reason that He bled down the cross. Our very nature is the reason that He was unrecognizable from all the beatings. These things that we call “habits”, so that we don’t have to call them sins, are the very things that drove the nails through the palms and feet of the Son of God … We have all crucified the Savior. It is because of us that He bore those beatings and suffered through the torture. My actions .. The things I have done, the sins I have committed, the lies I have told, the curses that have left my lips, the places I’ve gone, the people I’ve betrayed – all are reasons that my Savior Jesus Christ took on the cross.
There is no greater love than that of a man who will give up his life for someone else. Not only that, but for Him to give up His life for someone who doesn’t even deserve it. I don’t deserve to have had the very Son of God, the flesh and blood of the Creator of our universe, leave His place in heaven and come down to earth as a humble man and sacrifice His very life for me. Who else would do that for me? When I don’t deserve it? Nobody .. And yet, this great Man did. If Christ never again performed a miracle in my life, I would still be in debt to Him. If Christ never again was my provider and met my needs – I would still be in debt to Him. If Christ never again answered a single prayer of mine – I would still be in debt to Him! There is no sacrifice I could ever give that would compare to the sacrifice that He gave .. and yet, all He asks of us is to 1. believe in Him and love him, and 2. love others. Simple as that. That’s it.
How can someone who gave so much, ask so little? Because this, my friend, is true love. This is salvation. This is freedom.