And the person who saw it has testified (and his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth), so that you also may believe.
John 1:35 NET

All over the world Christians from different traditions celebrate Good Friday. As a Christian, regardless the denomination/tradition you align to, on Good Friday we remember the fact that Jesus went to the Cross and died to take away the sins of humanity. We remember the Crucifixion.

I have heard wonderful and powerful messages on what happened that Friday. If you go into any Christian bookstore surely you’ll find a lot of resources on this regard. This weekend people are more sensible to the message of the cross. Therefore we need to be ready to present them the real message of the Crucifixion. Jesus died to wash away the sins of every single individual on planet Earth in order to give them eternal life and a glorious hope. The Apostle John wanted to leave behind a reliable account that would testify about who Jesus was and is. He succeeded.

The Bible tells us that a notice [was] written and fastened to the cross, which read: “Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jews.”[1] John wants to take us even further by giving us more details about the notice Pilate had fastened to the cross, he tell us that it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek.[2] The mayor languages spoken by the Jews at that time; so almost every single Jew would be able to read the notice. Good Friday is the perfect opportunity to stop and ponder on the reality that Jesus Christ has become our king. Not only is he our eternal king. Scripture declares that one of the names of the Nazarene is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:16). The notice fastened on Jesus’ cross was a declaration to the people of that time regarding who Jesus was and is; but also it serves today as a prophetic declaration of a title that Jesus will hold to when He, as the Son of God, goes to war with the beast and with the kings of the earth and with the false prophet (Rev. 19:19-21). Good Friday is a good opportunity to stop and praise God for the fact that through the cross Jesus conquered both sin and death; it is also a wonderful time to remember that one day He will conquer the beast, the false prophet, and will establish His kingdom, and for that we must be thankful.

It was around noon when Jesus was crucified (Lk. 23:44; Mk. 15:33; Mt. 27:45) and the Bible tells us that darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon[3]. Several things happened at this time. John tells us that: Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the Scripture record might also be complete, then said, “I’m thirsty.”[4] Jesus was fully aware of what was going on. He knew what was at stake: humanity’s redemption. When he prayed at the garden the night before (Lk. 22:41-44) his crucifixion, He was fully aware of what He would face on the tree: communion with the Father will be lost for a split second due to the fact that our sins would be placed upon Him. There at the cross Jesus knew that His time had finally come. He had just fulfilled all prophecies regarding his persona. The time for him to give up his spirit had finally come (Mt. 27:50). When He gave up his spirit our salvation was forever secured. There, on that tree, Jesus displayed the major example of humility and obedience (Phil. 2:8). He, the Son of the Living God, became flesh and dwelt among mankind (Jn. 1:14). Not only did he walk among us. He died for the very people who’d crucified Him. He died for those who spat in his face, for those who denied him, for those who hated him, for those who mocked him, yet He stood silent. He did so because he knew better. He knew we needed to be redeemed. The only way in which the wages of sin could be paid off was by shedding blood (Heb. 9:22). Not any blood, but the blood of an innocent and since Jesus knew no sin (2 Cor. 2:15); His blood was the only capable of ransoming us (Heb. 9:14). By taking our place on the cross Jesus was honoring the Father’s love for humanity (Jn. 3:16).

Jesus’ last words recorded by John are: “It is completed!”[5]. What a powerful declaration Jesus pronounced that Friday afternoon. That day as Jesus was giving up his spirit and dying for all humanity the war against sin was waged, and Christ gained salvation for you and me. In the words of the Apostle Paul: having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.[6] That’s what happened at Calvary. When Jesus said it is completed Salvation was forever gained on behalf of mankind. Sin was forever nailed to the cross. It was through the blood of Jesus that our legal indebtedness was, forever, taken away!!! Grace was working at its fullest at Calvary and eternal hope was introduced through the cross. In Christ God was reconciling a fallen world back to him (2 Cor. 2:19). At Golgotha the special fellowship with God mankind lost, when Adam and Eve sinned, was being restored.

The Gospel of John testifies who Jesus was while He walked on Earth. It also testifies who Christ is. Since the opening lines of the Gospel the author is intentional in letting us know that his account is reliable. In introducing us the logos the author intentionally and carefully use the word testified when describing the activity John the Baptist performed (Jn. 1:14-15). Through the words of John the Baptist the apostle John’s conviction on who Jesus is finds expression: “I have both seen and testified that this man is the Chosen One of God.”[7] Easter is the perfect occasion in which we as Christians are able to freely testify who Jesus is and what he did for humanity. Through his death he was reconciling us back to God. Therefore it is our responsibility to testify this truth so that others may also believe in Him.

 


[1] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Jn 19:19.

[2] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Jn 19:20.

[3] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Lk 23:44.

[4] Eugene H. Peterson, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005), Jn 19:28.

[5] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Jn 19:30.

[6] The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Col 2:14.

[7] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Jn 1:34.