Focal Passage: Matthew 26:26-29, 36-39; 27:45-46, 50-54
On Good Friday we remember the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross to die for our sins. His death was not solely the result of a plot by Jewish leaders. His death was intentional, purposeful and in God’s plan. Through His substitutionary death on the cross, He made provision for the redemption of man from sin. Why did Jesus choose to die? Because man is sinful and in need of a Savior. We sin by worshiping ourselves and the world God has made. We neglect God as if we were the rulers of our own lives. Without the forgiveness of sin that Jesus’ death offers, we stand condemned by God and are under His wrath awaiting the final judgment to come.
Jesus did not come to change God’s mind, but rather He came precisely to express God’s mind which was to reconcile man to Himself. Jesus’ sacrifice is given by God Himself. In Jesus, God satisfied His own just requirements by taking the sentence and punishment for our sin upon Himself.
For us to understand the meaning of the cross we have to ask how we are affected by Jesus’ sacrifice on Good Friday. How are we made different? The cross convicts us as sinners. We were each there as He was crucified. The cross exposes what kind of people we are – those in need of a Savior. The cross exposes our sin. The cross enables us to live as forgiven sinners. We owed a debt we could not pay; He paid it all for us on the cross. We are forgiven debtors.
The cross means the death of sinners. When He died for us as sinners, we were put to death with Him. We are made new in Christ.
The cross changes our relationship with other people. As we have been forgiven by God, we too are to forgive others. We are to share with them how they can receive His forgiveness too.
With these reminders about Jesus’ death for us, how would you explain the necessity of Jesus’ death to a nonbeliever? Tell others about Him today.