There’s some dispute over who first coined the phrase that gave us the acronym TGIF (it wasn’t the restaurant chain, who only borrowed the phrase), but I find it interesting it stands for, “Thank God It’s Friday” in a world where anything about God is scorned. I guess they can skip right over the word God part as long as it’s a god with a small g. Or maybe people are just thankful enough for the weekend they’re willing to overlook the God part even if they don’t believe.
But what about this Friday? Have you thanked God for this Friday?
It’s the most significant Friday in the calendar – Good Friday. To some, it’s just another Friday and just another weekend to relax at the pool, play or party. While some may be thankful just for another Friday and another weekend, some may celebrate it out of tradition, some out of obligation, and some out of genuine thankfulness for the good that was done on that Friday.
It’s the day Jesus was crucified as a vicious criminal. He was stripped naked in humiliation (Psalm 22:18), hands tied to a post above his head and whipped across his shoulders, back and legs. Not with any whip, but a whip with several heavy leather thongs with lead balls at the end.
The first few blows would have causes bruising, followed by cutting through skin, and soon deeper tissues until his skin hung in shreds (Psalm 22:17). This brutal practice would only be stopped when the person was near death, but not dead.
Then the half-dead Jesus was mocked for claiming to be the prophesied and long-awaited Savior King and crowned with a circle of long thorn branches, pressed hard and deep onto his head.
At this point, “his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind.” Isaiah 52:14
One of hundreds of prophecies fulfilled.*
Yet, they could do nothing to Him the Father had not permitted. Even the crown of thorns is a symbol of sin (Genesis 3:17-18), and the scarlet robe (Isaiah 1:18) wrapped around His raw back a symbol of Him taking the punishment for the sins of the world – yours and mine.
And He did it willingly. For you. For me.
This was Creator God in the flesh, who came to us in the person of Jesus Christ, for the purpose of dying a brutal death to pay for all our sins. Yours. Mine.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
At this point, a prisoner would have been dehydrated and in respiratory failure. Still, it was the custom for the naked prisoner to carry his own cross to the crucifixion site.Jesus’ arms would have been tied to the crossbar weighing around a hundred pounds, which lay across his ripped flesh, and he carried it uphill.
After being thrown to the ground, 7-inch spikes would then be driven through His wrists, severing the hand’s largest nerve and causing burning pain and paralysis. Finally, His feet would be nailed at the arches.
The mocking taunts and jeers were nothing compared to the horror Jesus faced – for youand for me. And this is only a summary. Words fail to fully depict the intensity of suffering and pain.
As He hung there, the muscles in His arms knotted in throbbing, excruciating pain. His chest muscles became inoperable. Unable to exhale, His lungs eventually collapsed and filled with fluid, which led to suffocation.
To ensure He was dead, His heart was pierced with a spear.
Think about it. They could have just pierced His heart and been done with it. But God allowed the Romans, known for their inhumane brutality, to inflict their worst vile, ruthless punishment, because that’s what our sins against God deserved.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5
All this He did so we wouldn’t have to. He took all the punishment and shame for all our sins. Yours. Mine.
…but God showed His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
It’s hard to talk about and imagine, but I’m looking forward to Sunday. Sunday is the day of all days. Resurrection Day!
And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. Luke 24:2-3
He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Matthew 28:26
Hope for every person who believes in Him and receives the forgiveness provided on the Cross.
I am the living one.I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. Revelation 1:18
Seems we should be thanking God for Sunday. Now thatwas a Good Sunday!
But Sunday would be nothing without Friday.
So thank God for Good Friday.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
*Check out these many fulfilled prophesies about Christ:
What about you? Are you thankful for Good Friday and what Christ did for you on the Cross, or are you one who doubts or even scorns Him? In the movie, “A Case for Christ.” Lee Strobel was one who scorned Him. But in trying to disprove who Christ is, he had no other choice based on the evidence, than to come to faith in Jesus Christ, the one true God. I encourage you to look closely at the evidence. See the movie and/or read the book. Whether you’re a skeptic or not, I can’t think of a better way to spend Easter (other than going to church, of course). Happy and blessed Easter!
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope it has blessed you. I would love to hear from you in the comments here or on social media. And please sign up to receive an email when I post by clicking follow. Blessings!
First posted April 13, 2017. Updated and re-posted April 19, 2019.