April 14, 2017
I Peter 1:18-21
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Why Is Good Friday Good? It was on this Friday almost two thousand years ago that wicked people illegally and immorally put to death the most righteous Person who ever lived! And the manner of death to which He was condemned – crucifixion – is the most horrible, painful, and humiliating way ever conceived by man for someone to die! So why do we call Good Friday Good?
By the way, some scholars think that Jesus was crucified on either Thursday or Wednesday because of what He foretold in Matthew 12:40: “…as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” From Friday evening to Sunday morning is only 36 hours, not 72! But this is for another discussion. I throw this out that perhaps you might want to delve into the issue.
I was thinking about which representative Scripture to feature for this blog. I was considering some part of the description of the crucifixion in the Gospels. But the Lord laid on my mind the following from I Peter 1:19 through 21:
…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver
or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and
without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the
world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him be-
lieve in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that
your faith and hope are in God.
This Scripture has all the features in it to show forth the goodness of Good Friday!
• I Peter 1:18 – “…you were not redeemed with…silver and gold, from your aimless conduct….” The psalmist put it this way in Psalm 49:8 (Jubilee Bible): “…the redemption of their soul is of great price, and they shall never pay it….” And Paul wrote in Titus 3:5 that redemption is “…not by works of righteousness which we have done….” So no matter how much we might offer to redeem our soul, no matter how many good works we might do to try to gain such favor from God – we can’t do it! Such conduct is indeed aimless!
• I Peter 1:18, 19 – “…you were…redeemed…with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” For centuries the Jews sacrificed lambs (and other animals) as spotless as possible, to cover their sins, especially on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), described in Leviticus 16. But, as it says in Hebrews 10:4, “…it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” Only the precious blood of Christ can do that! He is the only One (person or animal) who is absolutely perfect! Peter tells us in I Peter 2:22 (International Standard Version – quoting Isaiah 53:9): “He never sinned, and He never told a lie.” Since God created man and woman perfect, it took a perfect sacrifice to pay for the sins that had so fatally infected mankind! (See Romans 5:12; 6:23).
• I Peter 1:20 – All mankind has a belief in God – an emptiness within that has been described as ‘a God-shaped hole’. But such general belief is not enough! For it tells us in James 2:19 (Good News Bible): “Do you believe that there is only one God? Good! The demons also believe — and tremble with fear.” Saving faith must be through Jesus Christ! Only “He…was foreordained before the foundation of the world…” to die for the sins of mankind! (See Revelation 13:8). Only “…He…was manifest in these last times…” to fulfill that foreordination! (See Romans 3:21-26; I John 4:9).
• I Peter 1:21 – Peter mentions not only that Jesus died, paying for our sins, but that “…God…raised Him from the dead….” Why is the resurrection of Jesus important? Paul lays out what is needful for salvation in Romans 10:9: “…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” The importance of belief in the resurrection is emphasized in I Corinthians 15:12-19 (Modern King James Version):
…if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised. And if
Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is worthless, and your faith
is also worthless. And we are also found to be false witnesses of God, because
we testified of God that He raised Christ; whom He did not raise if the dead
are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ is not raised. And if
Christ is not raised, your faith is foolish; you are yet in your sins. Then also
those that fell asleep in Christ were lost. If in this life only we have hope in
Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
• I Peter 1:21 – “…God…gave Him glory….” Is Jesus’ glory important? He is in heaven seated at the right hand of the Father! (See Romans 8:34; Hebrews 12:2). Since we are in Him (see I John 2:5; 5:20), it says in Ephesians 2:4 through 6, “…God…when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up together, and made us sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus….” We are already exalted in Christ!
What is Christ doing in His exalted position in heaven right now? According to Hebrews 7:25, “…He ever lives to make intercession for [us]….” He is interceding before the Father for you and me right now!
• I Peter 1:21 – “…so that your faith and hope are in God.” Oh, what faith and hope we have as Christians!
All this is “wonderful good” news (as the Amish might say!) And this is Why Good Friday is Good!