With the remembrance of Jesus’ resurrection only two days away, what makes Good Friday so good? For Christians worldwide, Good Friday is a pivotal day because it’s the beginning of the end. The end of the weight of our sin and the beginning of a new relationship with the one true God. It’s a celebration of the most monumentous weekend in the history of the world.
Christians have long claimed the death and resurrection of Jesus to be the unequivocal turning point for all creation. Paul says as much in 1 Corinthians 15:3 – “I passed on to you what I received, of which this was most important: that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say (NCV).” So what happened on the very first Good Friday?
The very first Good Friday
I’m reminded of an amazing YouTube video entitled “Jesus is Loving Barabbas.” I was introduced to this video via a post on DailyPS by Alex Sanfilippo called “A Short Message by Judah Smith That Changed My Life.” The video details the relationship between Jesus and Barabbas. If you’re new to faith or a little fuzzy on the crucifixion story don’t sweat it. Every year during the Passover celebration Pilot would allow the Jews to request the pardon of a prisoner on death row. On the very first Good Friday in history the crowd’s choice was between the murderer Barabbas and Jesus. By now we all know who they end up choosing. (Matthew 27:15-26)
So who really is this Barabbas guy?
Barabbas is an interesting character in the crucifixion story and Judah Smith puts it so well,
“There’s this one character that seems to interrupt the narrative. His name is Barabbas and we don’t know much about him except he’s a murder, a leader of an insurrection, a rebel and why he’s even mention, sometimes I’m not so sure. It’s like, this is about Jesus going to the cross.”
Judah also mentioned something that I hadn’t thought about before. There is no record of Barabbas turning to Jesus and thanking Him or acknowledging Him after being set free. Here you have a person that clearly deserves prison and deserves to be on death row, but he’s a free man. If you haven’t connected the dots yet, Barabbas, in the crucifixion story, is us. We deserve to be on death row without the possibility of parole, but we are saved only by the Love of a heavenly Father.
So, why is Good Friday so good? Because the only good person to walk the earth took our place on death row. All so we could be set free. I don’t know about you, but that’s the best good news I’ll ever receive in my life.
“For Jesus knew that the Father would have to treat Jesus like Barabbas so He could treat Barabbas like Jesus.” – Judah Smith