Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many (Hebrews 9:27-28 NIV).
Friend to Friend
All who pause for reflection and allow their hearts to wander in wonder down the Way of Suffering feel the darkness of this day in history. Good Friday was anything but good – yet, because of God’s unsearchable love for you and me, it was the pathway to our hope, to our forgiveness… and to eternal life.
Injustice took center stage that day as Pilate turned Jesus over to a rowdy mob though he had found no fault in him. Roman soldiers rendered Him wounded and weak as they flogged an innocent man – the perfectly innocent Son of man – with 39 excruciating lashes.
A twisted crown of thorns was placed on his head and a purple robe draped over his shoulders as the crowd struck Him in the face and mocked God’s Son (John 19:1-3).
“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).
Forced, then, to carry the weight of a heavy, wooden cross through streets full of accusations and curses, Jesus, the Messiah, was led toward the hill of death to the place of the skull: Golgotha.
He was poked, prodded, and provoked by angry voices that cried for his torture. For his death.
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem” (Isaiah 53:3).
Nails to flesh.
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).
On that pivotal day, darkness hurled hatred at the Light of the World. The sun stopped shining and the sky grew black as night as the beloved Son of God drew His final breath and declared, “It is finished.”
It. Is. Finished.
A spear to His side (John 19:34).
The tomb. Myrrh. Aloe. Burial. Heaven’s sorrow.
All for you. All for me. This sacred substitution.
To fulfill the wrath of a holy God who cannot accept imperfection into His presence, the Bible tells us that “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21) … and that the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf brought a new and living way of redemption to all who would call on His name. Once for all (Hebrews 9 and 10).
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
His punishment. Our peace.
By His wounds we are healed.
Read that again: by His wounds we are healed. Made whole. Forgiven. Saved. Redeemed. Set free.
The condemnation of our failings no longer bind us to hopelessness.
It is finished because though darkness shook the earth with death that Friday long ago, the grave could not hold Jesus and death could not defeat Him!
Friday brought death, but Sunday brought life!
He is risen, friend! He is risen, indeed!
Dear Lord, My heart is swollen with the weight of Your love. That You would give Your only Son to make a way for me to know You – to be made right with You – to be made righteous in Jesus – is more than I could ever, ever thank You for.
All glory and honor and praise be to Your name, Jesus! Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How have you been changed by the once-and-for-all sacrifice of Jesus?
Let’s pray together today. Meet us in the comments section to share your heart and pray for one another.
More from the Girlfriends
Struggling to see a beautiful faith picture? Gwen’s book, Broken Into Beautiful, is filled with Scriptural truths and stories of how God brings restoration to the hearts of those wounded by painful life experiences. Explore God’s healing and hope for your life today as you read Broken Into Beautiful. To order the book, go to Amazon or for a signed copy, order from Gwen’s web store.
© 2023 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.
He did it for me. Thank you Jesus for saving my life, saving my soul. Amen.
Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you, Jesus!
All glory and honor and praise be to Your name, Jesus! Amen.
Yes and amen.
Savior of the world, I humbly bow in your presence with a heart overflowing with gratitude that because of your broken body I am able to come before my maker unafraid or shameful. You are my hope and joy. I pray your people and myself stay awake to see you in all that we say and do.
Amen, Margie! Praying this with you.
Keep me awake to Your glory, Lord!
Today I choose to REMEMBER ĴESUS 💕. Now I have life eternal because He died once and for all. Just for me. I cry out O Lord, thank you for your loving ❤️ 😍 mercy and grace 🙏🏽 ❤️
Remembering HIM with you!
Father in heaven, I praise you for the gift of your son so that all your children can have a relationship with you without shame. Help me to be better every day in honor of your sacrifice. Amen
Amen and amen.
Thank you Jesus for the sacrifices that You made for our lives. I am eternally grateful for Your love and guidance.
Yes and amen! Thank you, Jesus!
Oh, He touched me, He touched me.
Oh the joy that floods my soul
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole!
Got that tune in my heart and soul now… Thank you, Jesus!
Thank You Father God for giving Your Holy Son to die to free me from my sin. Thank You Lord Jesus for Your obedience to die for my sin. Help me to always remember what You did for me Lord Jesus. Help me to live a life that reflects Your love and brings honor and glory to Your Holy Name.
Yes, Lord. I echo this prayer. Thank you, Jesus!
Thank You Jesus for the blood shed for me!!!!!!
Thank you Father for giving your one and only Son to die for me. Thats hard to imagine since I only have 1 child. All I can say is thank you!!!
Grateful with you, Tonia! Sunday is coming…
Thank you, Jesus for your gift of sacrifice.
Thank you for praying the intercessory prayers that night in the garden so long ago. Thank you for understanding our very weak human spirit and accepting the torture of the cross, for me…for us.
Help me to continue to abide in Your vine of love and faithfulness; and let me be more like You and less like myself. In Your Holy, Powerful Name, Amen.
Amen. Amen. Amen.
Thank you, Gwen, for your message today. Your posts always bless and inspire me.
Today I feel like I should have so much to say. I stood in the Garden of Gethsemane less than a month ago. But words fail me. My heart is heavy with sorrow as I try to imagine Jesus’ great pain on my behalf. But my human heart cannot imagine that kind of pain…or that kind of love. So I will just be grateful. Be blessed in knowing that Sunday is coming! <3
Grateful with you, Mardiece! Yes! Sunday is coming…
I was young when Jesus saved me. That doesn’t mean I stopped sinning or had only a little to be forgiven for because, I have continued to be sinful and have had to seek forgiveness every day of my life. In my acceptance of Him, His Holy Spirit is with me teaching me what is right and wrong in my every day walk. I am so grateful for His Love and mercy and the sacrifice for my sin. To those reading this post, His blood has made us one!
Please Lord Jesus, continue to teach me to be an example to others.
JESUS, THE ABUNDANCE OF YOUR LOVE FOR HUMANITY NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE ME! WE HUMANS TURN AGAINST PEOPLE OVER THE SMALLEST OFFENSE — EVEN WITHIN OUR OWN FAMILIES AND OUR OWN CHURCH FOLKS. YOU, HOWEVER WERE HANGING ON THE CROSS BEATEN AND MOCKED AND REVILED YET YOU ASKED GOD TO FORGIVE THE VERY ONES WHO WERE AFFLICTING YOU. OH THAT WE ALL WOULD REALIZE THAT WE TOO PLAYED A PART IN YOUR DEATH AND ANGUISH YET YOU FORGIVE US AND WELCOME US OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. THERE IS NO EARTHLY WORD STRONG ENOUGH OR BEAUTIFUL ENOUGH TO DESCRIBE THAT KIND OF LOVE. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, MY SWEET JESUS, A MILLION TIMES THANK YOU FOR LOVING ALL OF HUMANITY THE WAY YOU DO AND HELP US TO BE MINDFUL THAT WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO REFUSE FORGIVENESS TO ANYONE IN LIGHT OF WHAT YOU WENT THROUGH ON THAT DAY WE BITTERSWEETLY CALL “GOOD FRIDAY”. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRECIOUS BLOOD AND YOUR BROKEN BODY. IN YOUR NAME I ASK YOU TO ACCEPT THIS PRAYER FROM ONE OF THE LEAST IN YOUR KINGDOM. I LOVE YOU !!
Thank you Jesus for Your inconceivable gift of death and resurrection! Generously and freely given by a wondrous, faithful, head-over-heels-in-love-with-us God. Freely given, but not without great cost. The card signed in His blood, by a God who would rather die than live without us. Thank You for your extreme, extravagant love, the eternal redemption and life that our heavenly Father extends to us. To think it is ours for the taking with faith, love, and humility, from His nail marked outstretched hand! My heart is bursting with love and gratitude for my Savior.
While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell facedown and begged Him, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said.
Oh my God… thank you for being willing. To make us clean. We love you Lord.. we long for your appearing.. please come quickly Lord Jesus.
Oh Jesus, our Beautiful Jesus,
Amazing love, how can it be? That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me!
When my heart is heavy with a child led astray I remember the gift he gave on the cross.Forgiving terrible sin and giving me a new life.Thank you Lord-you are my father and I can’t wait to spend eternity with you.amen
By His Stripes I Am Healed! Indeed! Thank You Jesus!!!
By His Wounds I Am Healed! Indeed! Thank You Jesus!!!