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Good Friday

It Is Finished

We read of the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel of St. John. Our Lord’s dying words are, “It is finished.” In the Gospel according to St. Matthew, words previous to this are recorded from our Lord’s mouth as He hangs dying on the tree – “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”

What is Christ saying there? He is praying a psalm. Those words are the first words of Psalm 22. Jesus prays these words as He suffers, pointing to the whole Psalm. Let’s hear a part:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.

3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. 5 To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

6 But I am a worm and not a man.

How can Christ, the Holy Son of God, be forsaken by God – “My God why have you forsaken me?”

How can Christ, the Holy Son of God, pray a Psalm in which He says, “I am a worm and not a man.”

My Lord Jesus can speak this way because on the Cross the Holy Son of God became my sin. On the cross the Holy Son of God became your sin. He became the sin of all men. He became sin, and sin was put to death.

“For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin” [2 Corinthians 5:21]. On the cross, God made Christ your sin. There your sin died. Nailed to the tree. He became your sin so that your sin could die and you would live.

This is the love of God and of Christ. This was nothing unfair to Jesus. The Father and the Son agree as one – the Son went willingly, saying, “Your will be done.”

I am the worm. I am the wicked. I am the sinner. I’m guilty, and it’s my fault. Jesus, in His love, became everything that I am – was counted as the sinner – so that I can be counted as what He is. Holy and a son of God.

Because He became your sin and there your sin died, now you become the righteousness of God. You are now a new creation in Christ. You, though a sinner, are reconciled to God by the death of His Son.

In fact, it says, “that one has died for all, therefore all have died” [2 Corinthians 5:14]. We have already died to our sin in Jesus.

Now we live. And we who live “no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” [2 Corinthians 5:15].

Good Friday is indeed a good Friday because on this day the Holy One became your sin and on His cross your sin was nailed. Now, “it is finished.” Amen.

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