Good Friday 2016 was a rare day. There will not be another day like it until 2157. What makes the day so special? Good Friday falls on March 25 a day the church celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation. The Feast of the Annunciation, commemorates the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he informed her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Christ’s physical journey to the cross began with the angel Gabriel announcing the news to Mary.
26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Luke 1:26-38 (NIV)
From the humility of the incarnation, becoming a human fetus, through His servant life the divine strategy was being fulfilled. When Jesus speaks the words “It is finished!” from the cross the divine strategy for our salvation through Christ’s obedience was being brought to conclusion through the death of Jesus on the Cross.
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:30 (NIV)
Found only in the Gospel of John, the Greek word translated “it is finished” is tetelestai. This is an accounting term that means “paid in full.” When Jesus spoke those words, He was declaring the debt owed to His Father was wiped away completely and forever. Jesus was not wiping away any debt that He owed to the Father; rather, Jesus paid the debt owed by mankind—the debt of sin.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:4-6 (NIV)
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Colossians 2:13-15 (NIV)
What the world saw as a tragedy, God saw as a triumph!
Waiting with Hope for the dawn of Easter!