Good Friday Sermon Why is Good Friday Good?

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Luke 23:33-56 (NIV)

33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals--one on his right, the other on his left.

34Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One."

36The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar

37and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."

38There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"

40But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence?

41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."

42Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. "

43Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

44It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour,

45for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

46Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

47The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man."

48When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away.

49But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

50Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man,

51who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God.

52Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body.

53Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.

54It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

55The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it.

56Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

 

Luke 24:1-9 (NIV)

1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.

2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,

3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.

5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?

6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:

7'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' "

8Then they remembered his words.

9When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.

 

Luke 24:36-49 (NIV)

36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

 

Good Friday Sermon Why is Good Friday Good?

Today is Good Friday. Why is Good Friday good? Isn’t it the day Jesus died at the Cross? Why called it Good Friday? Why is it falls on Friday? Some of you may be wondering about these questions. Today’s sermon will answer these questions.

Today’s passage in Luke 23 talks about Jesus being crucified, his suffering and death. Let’s look at verse 33. Jesus was crucified at the Skull with 2 other criminals one at his left, one at his right side. Jesus was put at the center. What is the Skull, where is it? The original word is actually "Golgotha" in Hebrew which means skull and in Latin is known as “Calvary”. Is a place outside Jerusalem city at a hill that looks like skull. Is a place where execution took place.

In verse 34, at his crucification, Jesus prayed to God the Father to forgive his persecutors that brought him to the Cross, tortured him, mocked him and killed him. Why did Jesus still asked God the Father to forgive them his persecutors? Why did He said they do not know what they are doing? Normally when people face persecution from others, most people will hate their persecutors, their enemies. They will never pray for their persecutor. Both sides know what they are doing. So why did Jesus prayed for His persecutors and said they do not know what they are doing? Let’s look at what happened after Jesus prayed. The soldiers divided Jesus clothes and cast lots for His clothes. This verse 34 is fulfilling the prophecy of Psalm 22:18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. In verses 35-39, the rulers, soldiers and one of the criminals mocked at Jesus, insulting him. The rulers questioned Jesus how come he can’t save himself as he had saved others and Jesus said he is Christ the God, the chosen one. The soldiers questioned Jesus why he can’t save himself since he said he is the king of the Jews. One of the criminals even as he faced death still mocked at Jesus questioning him about Jesus being Christ, telling him to save himself and them the 2 criminals crucify together with Jesus. Jesus kept silent during this ordeal and he only spoke after one of the criminals rebuked the other criminal that insulted Jesus. The criminal told the other criminal they were both wrong and deserve punishment while Jesus had done nothing wrong. He questioned the other criminal whether he feared God? After that he told Jesus to remember him when Jesus goes to His kingdom. Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

Normally when people face death, they will be fearful, sorrowful and reflecting about their past what they had done wrong and regretted their deeds. But in this case for the criminal that insulted Jesus, he was not sorrowful. He mocked Jesus. He was not afraid of judgement, not afraid of facing God. While the other criminal repented and said he and the other criminal deserve punishment. He acknowledged that Jesus is king when he asked Jesus to remember him when Jesus come into his kingdom. He feared God and was at peace with God as he knows he will be with Jesus in his kingdom.  

After Jesus told the criminal he will be with him in paradise, the sky turned dark suddenly at noon from 12pm to 3pm which is sixth hour to ninth hour throughout the whole land. The temple curtain suddenly torn in two. Jesus called out for the last time before his death "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."

Why did the sky turned dark suddenly? Who can cause the sky to become dark throughout the whole land and for the sun to stop shining? Why did the temple curtain suddenly tore into two?

Is God the Father that caused this to happen. Look at Amos 8:9, Amos prophesied saying “"In that day," declares the Sovereign Lord, "I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.” God has fulfilled what He had said will happen. The light is no more and darkness filled the whole land. With Jesus death, there was no more light. Jesus is light. God the Father was grieving for His only son Jesus Christ who bear all the sins of human at the Cross, having to suffer and die at the Cross as an atonement sacrifice for our sins. He was grieving human sins. Darkness represent human darkness. Now let’s look at what happened to the temple curtain and surroundings, we need to look at Matthew 27:51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. In this verse, we see that there was an earthquake when the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. Why did the temple curtain torn? This is because with Jesus death at the cross, there is no need for high priest to sacrifice at the temple as Jesus is the high priest for us. We no longer need to have appointed human high priest to represent the people to pray to God and atone for our sins any more as when the curtain torn, God now allows us to have direct access with Him. No more limits to only high priest to talk to God. All of us can pray and talk to God directly through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is now our eternal high priest. We end our prayer with in Jesus name we pray when we pray to God the Father. This is based on what Jesus told His disciples in John 16:23 I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

When the centurion that had Jesus crucified, killed saw what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man." Did he acknowledge Jesus is Son of God then? Let’s look at Matthew 27:54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!". So in this verse, we see that the centurion and his soldiers now acknowledge that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. At that moment, they realized their mistakes and repented by acknowledging that Jesus is Son of God.

Have you repented after hearing this? Do you believe Jesus Christ is Son of God? Do you believe He had died at the Cross for your sins?

In Luke 23:48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. What does this mean? The people who were the ones who brought Jesus to the Cross wanted him dead now realize what they had did was wrong, their mistakes and the consequences of their actions. They felt pain, guilty and beat their breasts. They were mourning. This was fulfilling what was prophesied by Amos in Amos 8:10 I will turn your religious feasts into mourning and all your singing into weeping. I will make all of you wear sackcloth and shave your heads. I will make that time like mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day. With the temple in ruins with the earthquake, temple curtain torn, there was no more religious feast. That day Jesus died was Preparation Day for Sabbath & Passover Feast in Luke verse 54. Preparation Day falls on Friday 1 day before Sabbath in Jews calendar. The Jews observed Sabbath on Saturday where they obey God’s commandment not to do any work. They were told to rest on Sabbath after 6 days of work. Some of you may not know what is Passover Day, Passover Day is the day to commemorate what God had done for the Jews, the plagues that God gave to the Egyptians for punishment of their sins were not given to the Jews. In Exodus 12, God told the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb for each household and used the blood to put at the sides and top of the door frames of the house where they eat the lamb. When God strike the plague in Egypt, God upon seeing the blood at the door frames of the Israelites, He passed over them so the Israelites were protected. They didn’t lose their 1st born child. To remember this day, God had told the Jews to have a feast to the Lord to remember that day for He had passed over them. How is today’s passage related? With Jesus death, He is now the Passover Lamb sacrifice for the people once for all. No more animal sacrifice required any more. Jesus had prayed to God the Father before his death to forgive the people saying they don’t know what they are doing. God show His love for us with His sacrifice and at His death, He still ask God the Father to forgive us. His sacrifice is not just for the Jews, is for all of us. Are you touch by His love for you & others?

Now let’s talk about Joseph a member of council who helped to bury Jesus. What’s a member of council? It means a member of the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin was a Jewish council of 70 members comprising leaders, elders to oversee and judge the people as per God’s instruction in Numbers 11:16. The Sanhedrin back then had 70 people and 1 high priest. We don't know if Joseph is an elder or a scribe, a Pharisee or a Sadducee. What is significant about Joseph is that after Jesus death. He now opens up and publicly declared himself as Jesus disciple when he claimed Jesus body from Pilate for His burial. He was previously afraid of the Jews and kept his relation with Jesus a secret. He did not agree with the council decision to kill Jesus. He was not afraid of getting kick out of the council when he claimed Jesus body. He offered his own tomb which he had original planned to use for himself and gave it for Jesus burial. Joseph was a well respected man who was waiting for the kingdom of God. He believed in Jesus. According to John 19:38-40 Joseph together with Nicodemus a pharisee also a member of the council and same as Joseph a secret disciple of Jesus. Nicodemus had went to talk to Jesus in the night as mentioned in John 3. Both of them no longer afraid of the Jews, now they openly personally took Jesus body in public and wrapped the body with myrrh and aloes in linen cloth. They had overcome their fear of the Jews and losing their status with the council when they publicly took Jesus body and buried the body. They love Jesus as their teacher and God.

Another thing about Jesus death was also fulfilling the prophecy shown by what the 3 wise men that come to see Jesus when he was born and offered Him 3 gifts gold which represent kingship, frankincense (an incense) as a symbol of deity, and myrrh which is used to cover dead body as a symbol of death. This 3 gifts showed that Jesus is King, He is God and He had to suffer death. All these were fulfilled. Jesus said He is King of the Jews, He is son of God, He is God and He had to suffer death and died.

Now, let’s look at Jesus other disciples what happened to them? In Mark 14:50 we learned that when Jesus was arrested, his disciples abandoned him and fled. In Luke 22:54-62, Only Peter followed close behind but denied Jesus 3 times when confronted if he knows Jesus. In Matthew 27 Judas who betrayed Jesus regretted his actions and went to return thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders when he realized Jesus is going to be condemned to death but they refused the money. Judas threw the money at the temple, left and hang himself. The chief priests took the money and bought the land that Judas committed suicide and used it as a burial site for him and foreigners. Judas died before Jesus crucification. There was no mentioned of Jesus 12 disciples in the Bible at His crucification, only women were mentioned seen at his crucification. The 12 disciples didn’t go to Pilate to claim Jesus body for burial. Instead Joseph the member of council the secret disciple of Jesus now publicly declared he is Jesus disciple and claim his body. What does this tell us? Jesus 12 disciples who said they will follow Him had forsaken Him when face with persecution. Are you the same as the 12 disciples or are you like Joseph willing to sacrifice all he had status, authority, wealth and follow Jesus, acknowledge Him? Joesph was not afraid of persecution, death when he claimed Jesus body. The 12 disciples had forgotten what Jesus had told them in Mark 9:31 "The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise." Jesus predicted his arrest, death and resurrection which was fulfilled. If you have forsaken God, repent. God will forgive. In 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If you are struggling, turn to God and pray to Him. Do not hurt yourself. God loves you and forgives you. Seek Him and you will find Him and be at peace. We read in the Bible in John 21 after Jesus resurrection, Jesus appeared in front of Peter. He had forgiven Peter and told Peter to take care, feed his sheep and lambs. He had restored Peter and given Peter authority to take care, feed his sheep and lambs.

How about the women disciples who had followed Jesus what happened to them? Did they stay with Jesus? They were with Jesus when He was crucified and died. They had seen Joseph and Nicodemus buried Jesus body and they went back home after that to prepare more spices and perfumes for Jesus body. They had planned to visit Jesus body on the 1st day of the week Sunday after Sabbath Saturday. The Jews had their Sabbath on Saturday and their 1st day of the week is Sunday. They rested on Sabbath as they obeyed God’s commandments to rest in Sabbath. Later on in Luke 24 verses 1 to 9, we learned that the women took the spices to Jesus tomb and found Jesus body missing. They found the stone that blocked the entrance of the tomb rolled away from the tomb. There they saw 2 angels telling them that Jesus had resurrected from the dead. They reminded the women that when Jesus was still with them in Galilee, he told them: “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” Then they remembered Jesus words and went to tell the 11 disciples and others that Jesus had risen.

Now let’s look back to the questions I raised at the beginning of the sermon. Why is Good Friday good? Why called it Good Friday? Why is it falls on Friday?

Is because Jesus had died at the Cross for our sins and we no longer require animal sacrifice to atone for our sins, no more human high priest to represent us to pray to God. High priest had to keep replacing when one dies. When Jesus died at the Cross, as He is Son of God, His sacrifice is sufficient for all of us our sins. He is our eternal High Priest for us to intercede for us. Jesus died for us to make right with God. We can now approach God directly through Jesus Christ. Good Friday falls on Friday as is 1 day before Sabbath and also Passover Preparation Day. God planned it that day to fulfill His word He had mentioned before, for people to remember their sins and repent. Jesus is the sacrificial lamb to atone for our sins. God had fulfill His plan for Jesus to be resurrected 3 days later on Sunday. With Jesus resurrection on Sunday, grief has turned to joy that day. Jesus had defeated death.

We saw that Jesus had defected death and resurrected and His appearance to His disciples in Luke 24:36-49 after His death. In verse 46-48 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

Being the witness of Jesus death, burial and resurrection from the dead, the disciples were told to preach His words to all nations for people to repent from their sins and receive forgiveness from God. Have you done what He has called His disciples His followers to do? Are you a Christian that denied Jesus, left Him and didn’t share His word to others? Repent today and turn back to God. Seek Him and He will forgive you. Are you a pre-believer and wants to accept Jesus Christ into your life? If you are, God is inviting you to turn towards Him. Please follow me and say this prayer. Dear Lord Jesus, I admit I am a sinner and I ask for Your forgiveness. I have done, said and thought many wrong things that are basically going against You and Your Will. I turn from my sins in repentance. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. Thank You for dying at the Cross for my sins. I invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you have prayed this prayer and accept Jesus Christ into your life, congratulations to your new born life. I hope to hear from you and encourage you to get a Bible and read it. Do visit a church near you and tell your Christian friends about your new faith. They will love to hear the good news and guide you in your journey.

Now let’s end this sermon with a prayer. Dearest Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, thank you for your word today. We are sorry for the mistakes we have made in our life. Forgive us for our sins. We repent from our sins. Thank you Heavenly Father for sending your one and only son Jesus Christ to come to earth as man to tell us about you, your love for us. Thank you Jesus Christ for willing to suffer for us and died at the Cross. You are our King and Lord of our life. We commit our life to you that we will bring you glory in the things we do and our life be pure and holy. May we be an effective witness for you sowing many seeds and harvest many fruits for you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

 

Janice Ong

Founder of Christ Unite