Tuesday, 31 March 2015

WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT GOOD FRIDAY?

Why call it 'good' when it's such a gloomy day to commemorate the death of Jesus on the cross?

                                                                          
On Good Friday, we remember Christ who was crucified on the cross for the sins of man.
But why call it ‘good’? It’s because Christ’s death secured for us several benefits. Let’s meditate on all the good things that result from Jesus’ death on the cross.

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
(Psalm 103:1-5).


                                                                        
Christ not only forgave our sins and healed our diseases through His death. Through His resurrection, three days after His death, He defeated death, sin and the devil.

Death, where is thy sting?

The resurrection of Jesus is the epitome of hope. There is life after death for believers— everlasting life in heaven. Just as Jesus’ death is not final, physical death is not final for those who believe in Him.

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25). Can we think of any other promise that offers greater hope for a man when he passes through the valley of death?

Victory over sin

Believers were once spiritually dead. Like the rest of the world, we lived in sin, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world—and following the passionate desires of our sinful nature (Ephesians 2:1-3).

Christ’s resurrection enables believers to live a victorious life. Sin’s power over them has been broken.

How is this achieved? First, believers identify with the death of Christ by dying to sin, which is symbolised by the act of baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead, even so believers are empowered by the Holy Spirit to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-11, Galatians 5:16). Set free from bondage to the inclinations of their sinful nature, they are able to resist Satan and no longer incur God’s wrath (Romans 8:1-2, James 4:7).

As long as we choose to walk by the spirit, die to self, lay our selfish desires at the foot of the cross, we will win the battle against the flesh. “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (Romans 8:5).

By choosing to ‘walk by the Spirit’, we will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). What are some of the practical steps involved? Draw near to God; be exposed to people and situations where God is glorified; pray in the Spirit; listen to uplifting messages; worship God; fellowship with other believers.

Satan defeated

Christ’s death at the cross also paved the way for the defeat of Satan. “The Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Devil” (1 John 3:8). Christ “disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities” and “shamed them publicly” by His victory over them at the cross (Colossians 2:15). Believers, now seated in the heavenly places next to Christ, rest in this exalted position of victory over the principalities and powers (Ephesians 2:6). The battle has already been won.

Now the task for believers is to enforce the victory that Christ has achieved for them at the cross. How do we enforce this victory? Through worship, waging warfare prayer, testimonies, proclaiming and affirming the truth, and commanding the evil spirits to leave by taking authority over them (Ephesians 6:10-11, Matthew 4:10, Mark 5:8, Revelation12:11).

Sin opens the door for satan and evil spirits to enter our lives. If we are tempted by the enemy, we are told to submit to God, resist in the Holy Spirit and the devil will flee (James 4:7). Jesus knew how to rebuke satan with the Word when He was tempted (Matthew 4:1-11). When satan puts negative, discouraging or destructive thoughts in our minds, it’s time to declare God’s word to counter his lies and demolish the strongholds the evil one has set up in our minds (2 Corinthians 10: 3-5). Not knowing the truth is disastrous. We have to be well-equipped with the Word.

Praise God that satan is already a defeated enemy. One day, Satan will finally be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).

In summary, Christ’s death and resurrection accomplished for us five things:

  • Forgiveness of sins and restoration of our relationship with God (Romans 10: 9, 13)


  • Healing of diseases (Psalm 103:3)


  • Death has lost its sting (1 Corinthians 15:55, John 11:25)    


  • Victory over sin (Romans 8:1-2)


  • Defeat of satan (1 John 3:8, Colossians 2:15)

As we reflect on all the above this Easter, let’s learn to be grateful. May our lives be worthy in relation to what Christ has done for us.

Good Friday is indeed good for believers who know how to embrace the benefits Christ secured for all through His death. 

RELATED POSTS

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MOTHER OF ALL BATTLES
A clear understanding of the ongoing battle between the “old man” and “new man” is essential before we can walk in victory.

SWORD DRAWN, READY FOR BATTLE
When satan puts negative, discouraging or destructive thoughts in our minds, it’s time to declare God’s word to counter his lies. Not knowing the truth is disastrous. Be prepared. Be equipped.



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