Good Friday – March 29
What’s your first thought when you consider Jesus’ death? Is it the personal implications or the more cosmic impact? Do you reflect on the reality of being washed clean by Jesus’ blood and being able to approach God’s throne of grace with confidence (Hebrew 4:16)? Or are you more drawn to the reality of a creation redeemed – a creation that has been groaning – that is now being ‘liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God’ (Romans 8:21)?
Of course, it’s not an either/or – the good news of the cross of Christ is that we are personally forgiven, redeemed, restored… and the world has changed. No matter what we have said or done or thought, it has been washed away. Freedom is found at the cross of Jesus Christ.
But it's more than that. Theologian Miroslav Volf puts it like this:
“The cross is not forgiveness pure and simple, but God’s setting aright the world of injustice and deception.”
The crucifixion of Jesus has ramifications far beyond our own personal relationship with God. When Jesus speaks his final words, "It is finished" (19:30), he is referring not only to the end of our broken relationship with God, but also to the redemption of all creation.
The death of Jesus is a world-changing, universe-shaking act. A world mired in evil, darkness and depravity is forever altered.
Suddenly, we have reason to hope. God is, ‘setting aright the world of injustice and deception.’ A world where 50 million people are trapped in slavery, where five billion people live outside the protection of the law, where people are subjected to the most horrendous forms of violence, where evil flourishes and death appears to win… this is the world that God is setting right. Death’s days are numbered. Darkness has been put on notice.
What does this mean for how we live now? How can this impact our lives personally?
If we consider that God has, ‘set aright the world of injustice and deception’ through Jesus' death, how might that change the way we work as his disciples – his hands and feet – here on earth, in the now and the not yet, the middle time?
How can we pray and act and give to see an end to injustice and deception, safe in the knowledge that God is at work in the world?
After all: it is finished.
When we consider the scale of injustice around the world, it can sometimes be difficult to believe that ‘it is finished’. Watch IJM’s ‘Together’ video here and take a moment to remember and praise God for his ongoing action in bringing people to safety from slavery and violence today.
Praise God for Jesus’ finished work on the cross and its ramifications both personally and cosmically. You might want to use the words of When I Survey the Wondrous Cross by Isaac Watts or Is He Worthy by Chris Tomlin to help you.