Receiving Healing This Good Friday

Paige Smith

I used to be filled with so much condemnation when I thought of the crucifixion. Why did you die for a sinner like me? I would silently ask God in my heart. It was torturing to read the accounts of how I believed my sin killed my Savior.

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I used to be filled with so much condemnation when I thought of the crucifixion. Why did you die for a sinner like me? I would silently ask God in my heart. It was torturing to read the accounts of how I believed my sin killed my Savior.

That was my perspective of the cross. And without saying it aloud I made an unconscious decision to attempt to make things right again with Jesus, pay Him back for the horrible things I caused Him to suffer on my behalf, though self righteousness, acts of “goodness”, and performance.

I truly thought this was how to please God and after researching the worldwide traditions of how Christians have historically commemorated Good Friday I realize I wasn’t alone in this faulty mindset.

But what if Jesus didn’t die on the cross to hang the guilt of our sins over our head forever? What if He died to free us from condemnation, guilt, and death? What if it was His joy to take our place, an act He did willingly with a heart full of love and mercy.

Let’s revisit this day together:

Over 2,000 years ago Jesus Christ was crucified for the salvation of all mankind and we commemorate that monumental event every year on Good Friday, the Friday before Resurrection Sunday. Yet still centuries after Jesus died on the cross we still are in need of the redeeming and healing power of the cross, and the hope of a Savior.

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In light of our brokenness it brings comfort to know He promises that by His stripes we are healed.

Good Friday, formerly known as God’s Friday or Holy Friday commemorates the day Jesus was crucified and took those painful stripes for us.

Although now universally called “Good” Friday, it has traditionally been a day of sorrow and mournful reflection for Christians. In fact, entire churches would drape black cloths over all the church and turn off all lights as a sign of mourning (Armstrong “The Goodness of Good Friday”).

While being a day where many have historically lamented over the sin which brought Jesus to a violent death, author Chris Armstrong reminds us that, “Good Friday recalls for us the greatness and wonder of God’s love—that He should submit to death for us.”

With Good Friday days ahead of us instead of looking in horror at our own sins and the brutality of the crucifixion let us look on the beauty of a Man who loved us so much He was willing to become our sin and die in our stead.

Reading the account of this Holy Friday Jesus’ sojourn to the cross in the lens of Jesus and His intentions, it transforms from a story of mere tragedy to one of relentless love and hope

What Actually Happened?

As you read the account of Jesus going to the cross it is heartbreaking. His innocence is so apparent and yet astoundingly everyone surrounding Him wants nothing more than His death.

Again and again the same officials meant to find fault in him find him innocent but the crowd still roars, “Crucify him!” Eventually Jesus is given over to this blood hungry crowd and they crucify him.

He is flogged, a heavy rugged splintered cross placed on his back, so cumbersome another man is pulled to help him carry it.

And when he arrives at his destination, Golgotha, The Place of The Skull, it is here He truly meets death.

The nails are placed in his hands and ankles and the cross, weighed down with His scarred, beaten, and dehydrated body, is pulled up for all the mocking world to see.

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He hangs on the rugged cross, still undergoing jeering insults, piercing in His side, and vinegar being brought to His lips.

Yet in this place of desolation, vulnerability, physical exhaustion and excruciating pain, Jesus’ response is not hatred or bitterness to the sinners surrounding Him.

His response is pure love.

His response is forgiveness and intercession:
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)

His response is hope and salvation:
“Assuredly, I say to you, today, you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43)

His response is reconciliation:
“Dear woman, here is your son” (John 19:26)

His response is completion:
“It is finished.” (John 19:30)

In the place where Jesus could have rightfully condemned us, He chose to save us and love us in our trespasses!

Good Friday brings us back to the pages of the gospel where we first met our savior, at the foot of the cross, amazed at his willingness to give His life for us.

This Good Friday let us allow ourselves to be broken again by what Will Regan calls “the simple gospel”, the simple fact that Jesus was willing to be crucified for you and I to be reconciled to The Father.

This Good Friday let us reencounter the Jesus of the gospels.

The Jesus who died for the “Joy set before Him”, you and I. Let us look into his fiery loving eyes and see the One who was willing to pay the ultimate cost for not only our salvation, but our total freedom, redemption and healing.

What do you need to lay at the foot of the cross today? What brokenness do you need Him to mend? What unforgiveness do you need Him to uproot? What relationship do you need Him to restore?

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He is the same One who died for you and every sin, wound, and hang up 2,000 years ago and He is just as committed to your healing today.

Maybe today you feel like Mary, Jesus’ mother who was at the cross not mocking Him, but grief stricken mourning the imminent death of her son.

Are you mourning today? Maybe it is not over the natural death of a loved one, but it could be a loss just as tangible to your heart. The loss of a healthy childhood, the loss of security in a parent, the loss of approval from close friends, the loss of comfort from a mother, the loss of respect from coworkers, the loss of attention from a spouse.

Imagine Jesus stopping everything even in the midst of His pain, just to bring healing and restoration to that area, just as He did to His mother as He gave her one of His disciples to precede Him as the new son in her life.

This Good Friday lets receive God’s healing in our most broken places. Because it is by His stripes that we are healed.

Was this post encouraging for you? Has it inspired you to encounter God in a new way this Good Friday? Please share in the comments below, we love your insights!

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