What Jesus did for you on Good Friday

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What Jesus did for you on Good Friday

April 7, 2023 -

Against a background of the sun breaking through the clouds stand an empty cross adorned with a crown of thorns and draped with white fabric, a reminder of the great cost Jesus paid on Good Friday. © By ricardoreitmeyer/stock.adobe.com

Against a background of the sun breaking through the clouds stand an empty cross adorned with a crown of thorns and draped with white fabric, a reminder of the great cost Jesus paid on Good Friday. © By ricardoreitmeyer/stock.adobe.com

Against a background of the sun breaking through the clouds stand an empty cross adorned with a crown of thorns and draped with white fabric, a reminder of the great cost Jesus paid on Good Friday. © By ricardoreitmeyer/stock.adobe.com

If you have been vaccinated against measles, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chickenpox, meningitis, or pneumonia, you have Dr. Maurice Hilleman (1919–2005) to thank. He served as chief of the Department of Virus Diseases at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and later as head of the virus and cell biology research department of Merck & Co. Dr. Hilleman is credited with saving more lives than any other scientist of the twentieth century. And yet he is virtually unknown to the general public, as he refused to name a vaccine or discovery after himself.

Now that you know of Dr. Hilleman’s remarkable career, are you grateful for his work?

Consider what Jesus did for you on Good Friday.

He had already endured religious trials that were illegal in at least these ways:

  • He was arrested without a formal charge.
  • He was given no opportunity to prepare a defense.
  • They began with a private examination, not the public trial required by law.
  • The Sanhedrin was not permitted to initiate charges, only consider them.
  • The proceedings were conducted at night, against the law (Mishna Sanhedrin 4:1).
  • Witnesses could not be solicited once a trial began.
  • Witnesses could not be paid for their testimony.
  • The Sanhedrin discovered that their witnesses were false, but did not punish them.
  • Jesus was put under oath to condemn himself (Matthew 26:63).
  • The witness was condemned only on the basis of his personal testimony.
  • No discussion of the blasphemy charge was permitted.
  • The Sanhedrin had no authority to pronounce the sentence of death.
  • They changed the charge from blasphemy to insurrection once they stood before Pilate.

Then Jesus was paraded to Pilate, to Herod, and back to Pilate. He was scourged, his scalp was lacerated with a crown of thorns, and he was forced to carry his cross to Golgotha. His wrists and feet were nailed to the cross, where he died of blood loss, shock, and suffocation.

All for you.

You may know that Mel Gibson, the director and producer of The Passion of the Christ, appears in the movie himself. When Jesus’ hand is stretched on the cross, a fist holds the spike which is driven into the Savior’s flesh. The hand that holds that spike, the hand that crucifies our Lord, is Mel Gibson’s. He was asked why he did it that way. His answer: Because I killed him.

I understand and appreciate what he means. But we can’t kill God.

He chose to die, for you.

Before he made you, he knew he would die for you.

That’s how much he loves you.

The passion of the Christ is you.

The Spirit empowered Jesus to endure all of that on Good Friday: “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power” (Acts 10:38). He is the same Spirit who is ready to empower you as you face your challenges on this Good Friday.

For prayer: Thank God for sending his Son to die that you might live. Then ask his Spirit to empower you as you deal with the trials of this fallen world and glorify Jesus by your faithful service to his Kingdom.

This article is from “Day 45: The Spirit empowers us” in Empowered: A Guide to Experiencing the Power of the Holy Spirit, a forty-seven-day Easter devotional.

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