Good Friday

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

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There has been much debate among theologians as to whether the Lord Jesus Christ was actually crucified on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Traditionally, of course, it is supposed to have taken place on Friday, but this writer has never been able to get very excited about such details. What matters is that Christ, the Creator, God in flesh, died in shame and disgrace and agony for sins He had never committed — for your sins and mine.

But have you ever considered that this in itself is not necessarily good news? Many an innocent person has died in the place of some guilty criminal who has gone free through some miscarriage of justice. We didn’t see anything good about this. When St. Peter addressed his kinsmen he blamed them for the crucifixion of Christ, saying: “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you… as ye yourselves also know… ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:22, 23), and later he faced the Supreme Court of his nation and charged them with His death (Acts 4:5-11).

What then, was “good” about the death of Christ? Well, we come to this when we reach the Epistles of Paul in our Bibles. There the chief of sinners, saved by grace (ITim.1:15), exclaims: “He gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20). He says: “God hath made Him to be sin for us… that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (IICor.5:21). He does not blame us for Christ’s death — though our sins helped to nail Him to that cross — but proclaims the glad news that, “We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace” (Eph.1:7). And why did He do this for us? “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus”(Eph.2:7).

So, for us who have trusted Christ as our Savior, the death of Christ at Calvary is indeed good news. We rejoice in it, sing about it, preach about it and all it has accomplished for a lost humanity. Little wonder Paul declared:

“God forbid that I should boast,” except in one thing: “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14).

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.

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