What is Good Friday and Easter Sunday all about?
The God of the Bible is humanity’s rightful King.
All humans, no matter what background they come from, have rebelled against Him and forsaken Him.
We deserve eternal punishment for dishonoring a King of eternal glory.
There are many ways that we humans dishonor God, whether it be through misuse of authority (power-hungry leaders, police brutality, male abuse); our sexuality (finding our identities in something other than that prescribed by God), dishonoring others (racism, bullying, slander), injustice (calling guilty people innocent and calling innocent people guilty).
Good Friday: God the Son entered human history as Jesus of Nazareth to take the punishment that was reserved for us by dying on a cross for our sins:
“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 53:5)
Easter Sunday: Jesus rose from the dead, demonstrating His power over sin and death:
“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.” (Romans 6:9-10)
God is our King and we are His subjects. We committed high treason against Him and deserve capital punishment for our crimes. But the Crown Prince Jesus came and took our punishment on our behalf and was raised from the dead. With His new life, He offers us rebels an opportunity to have our crimes pardoned and more than that, to be reconciled to our King and be elevated with the Crown Prince to a new status.
Jesus does not simply provide the means for our forgiveness, He also elevates us with Him to share His royal status.
If we accept Him as our risen Lord and Savior, we shall be united with Him in a death like his, and we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him (Romans 6:5-7). If then we agree to be reconciled to God in Christ Jesus, we must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11).
Jesus is Lord because He is our reconciled, rightful King.
Jesus is Savior because He saved us from the penalty of our sins, namely death and separation from God.
Good Friday and Easter Sunday represent the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, historical events that have come to be the means through which humans can be reconciled to their Creator and begin a process of moral transformation that can bring blessings and renewal to the whole world. This inner transformation and reconciled relationship to God will begin to express themselves in the way that we interact with others.
Our identities will change, our laws will change, our culture will change, and our society will change for the better, and they’re at their optimal best when we humans, through Christ Jesus, are reconnected with the God from whom all justice and righteousness flow.