What Does Good Friday demand of you? Do the events of two thousand years ago have any bearing on your life today? The purpose of this brief discussion is not to convince you they crucified a real historical figure named Jesus on the cross. Entire books have been written proving the historicity and authenticity of Jesus’s death and resurrection.
My assumption is if you are reading this, you already believe Christ died on your behalf to save you from the eternal consequences we all deserve. I want to focus on what Good Friday demands from the lives of all who believe. The cross of Jesus is more than a historical fact, more than just another moment in time. No, the cross of Jesus demands many things from us.
First, let me assure you Christ chose to die for you with no strings attached. He didn’t die because He needed you to worship or surrender to Him. Every person will bow their knee to Jesus in the end (Philippians 2:9-10; Romans 14:11; Isaiah 45:23). His crucifixion was a gift, a selfless and unimaginable sacrifice to provide us with a path from death to life. So then, what does Good Friday demand of you? It demands we recognize Jesus did not consider His life more valuable than yours. The God of all Heaven and earth humbled Himself in service and sacrifice to you (Philippians 2:5-8). If our Creator did that for us, doesn’t that demand we do the same for everyone else? The Lord is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35). He loves everyone regardless of what they’ve done. Can we say the same?
Jesus faced intense persecution and agony without wavering in His commitment to the mission of God. At any moment, He could have put an end to His suffering and injustice (Matthew 26:53-54). Instead, the Lord refused to give in to the temptation of the easy way. He chose pain over comfort, scorn over glory, and selflessness over self-promotion. Are we more worthy than Jesus to seek our comfort, glory, and success over the mission of God? The cross of our King demands we follow His example and put Him first in every area of our lives and to do so at all times. His crucifixion set the standard that we cannot ignore or deny.
So, what does Good Friday demand of you? It demands you imitate Christ by daily taking up your own cross. Good Friday demands we die to ourselves, put away our desires, and give up our lives for the sake of the Kingdom (Mark 8:35). Good Friday demands we surrender everything to the One who gave everything on our behalf.
As Christ died, so we must die every day. We must crucify our sinful man on the cross of Christ. Our old life is done (Ephesians 4:22-24). Once crucified, it is no longer we who live, but Christ living through us (Galatians 2:19-20). That is what Good Friday demands of you. Recognize the sacrifice of our Savior. Bow in anguished awe at what He did on your behalf. Crucify your old life and begin to live a life worthy of what Jesus did for you.