Good Friday: a declaration of love by God
God aspires to the indestructible fellowship with mankind. To do so, He pursues many paths: even the one of the cross. No obligation, no constraint: God loves first, and His love is boundless.
Good Friday is the image of God’s full and perfect love. Nothing makes the will of God more concrete and His salvation more conscious than His sending His Son to sinful mankind. Jesus takes the blame, suffers, and dies. And He loves everyone.
The love of God is unique
God’s love is unique in many ways. It is so great that He sacrificed His Son: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3: 16). This is likely the best known declaration of God’s love. It is an excerpt from the discussion that Jesus had with the Pharisee Nicodemus two thousand years ago.
However, the love of God is even unique when considered from a temporal point of view. The compassion of the Almighty existed before all sins, but also before all good deeds: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4: 10).
And God’s love is indestructible: neither man’s fall in Paradise nor the many violations in the course of human history have caused His love for man to diminish. God loves the world—as hostile as it often is to Him—continually and unrestricted. Such is the love of God.
The only begotten Son of God
“Through His suffering and death, Christ the Mediator reconciles mankind with God and creates redemption from sin and death. Thereby the words of John the Baptist are fulfilled: ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’ (John 1: 29). Through His sacrificial death the Lord has broken the power of Satan and overcome death (Hebrews 2: 14). Since Jesus resisted all the temptations of Satan and remained without sin, He was able to take the sins of all humanity upon Himself (Isaiah 53: 6), and through His blood was able to acquire the merit whereby all guilt of sin can be washed away. His life, which He gave for the sinner, is the ransom. His sacrificial death opens up the way for mankind to come to God.” This is how the New Apostolic Catechism summarises it (CNAC 188.8.131.52). Christ is the way, not man through his strength, wisdom, nature, and ideas.
Saving faith in Christ
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3: 17). Belief in the Crucified leads to eternal fellowship with God. God wants to save. He does not want to judge! God wants to lead, He does not want to persuade.
Salvation for all people
“God’s actions are aimed at making salvation accessible to mankind. His will to save applies to all people in the past, the present, and the future” (CNAC 10). Eternal fellowship with God and victory over evil … that is the will of God. God loves, helps, and saves—without any limits. For God no sacrifice was and is too big.
Good Friday is the day on which the love of God unfolds all its greatness.
May it become silent within us Christians on Good Friday as we remember Christ’s sacrificial death, feel His inexhaustible love, and hope for eternal life with God.