Celebrating Good Friday

Let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy. (Hebrews 4:16)


Jesus’ passion and all that it entailed—the agony, the humiliation, the feeling of abandonment—was over. “It is finished,” Jesus said, bowing his head and handing over his spirit (John 19:30). Jesus had been obedient to the Father’s will; he had completed his mission to save the world from sin.


But what had also ended was the dividing wall that had separated us from God. Jesus’ death on the cross undid the sin of Adam. His sacrificial death accomplished what no previous sacrifice made by a Hebrew priest on behalf of his people could do. The sacrifice would never have to be repeated; it was “once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).


The blood that flowed from Jesus’ body is the blood that continues to wash us clean. It is, and always will be, enough. Our separation from God is truly finished Jesus’ passion and all that it entailed—the agony, the humiliation, the feeling of abandonment—was over. “It is finished,” Jesus said, bowing his head and handing over his spirit (John 19:30). Jesus had been obedient to the Father’s will; he had completed his mission to save the world from sin.


But what had also ended was the dividing wall that had separated us from God. Jesus’ death on the cross undid the sin of Adam. His sacrificial death accomplished what no previous sacrifice made by a Hebrew priest on behalf of his people could do. The sacrifice would never have to be repeated; it was “once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). The blood that flowed from Jesus’ body is the blood that continues to wash us clean. It is, and always will be, enough. Our separation from God is truly finished! Now we can “confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy” (4:16).


But how confident are you of God’s mercy? Do you sometimes wonder how God can forgive your sins? Maybe you focus on a sin from the past that seems especially serious and wonder if you’ve really been forgiven. Or you might wonder why God continues to forgive a sin you keep committing over and over again. Does God’s mercy have limits?

The answer, of course, is no. God went to unimaginable lengths to assure us that we will always receive his mercy when we approach him. He sent his only begotten Son, his Beloved, to become man and sacrifice his life for us. That’s how much he loves us. That’s how much he desires to forgive us. And that’s why today is called “Good” Friday.


As you venerate the cross today or pray the Stations of the Cross, remember that God’s mercy is truly limitless. Never believe that the pain and suffering that Jesus endured was not enough to save you. Never think that the blood that flowed from his side was for everyone else but not for you. Never let any sin stand between you and the Lord. For by his holy cross, he has redeemed the world—and that includes you!


“Jesus, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for dying on the cross to save me.”


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Remember your mercies, O Lord, and with your eternal protection sanctify your servants for whom Christ your Son, by the shedding of his Blood, established the Paschal Mystery! Now we can “confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy” (4:16).

But how confident are you of God’s mercy? Do you sometimes wonder how God can forgive your sins? Maybe you focus on a sin from the past that seems especially serious and wonder if you’ve really been forgiven. Or you might wonder why God continues to forgive a sin you keep committing over and over again. Does God’s mercy have limits?

The answer, of course, is no. God went to unimaginable lengths to assure us that we will always receive his mercy when we approach him. He sent his only begotten Son, his Beloved, to become man and sacrifice his life for us. That’s how much he loves us. That’s how much he desires to forgive us. And that’s why today is called “Good” Friday.

As you venerate the cross today or pray the Stations of the Cross, remember that God’s mercy is truly limitless. Never believe that the pain and suffering that Jesus endured was not enough to save you. Never think that the blood that flowed from his side was for everyone else but not for you. Never let any sin stand between you and the Lord. For by his holy cross, he has redeemed the world—and that includes you!

“Jesus, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for dying on the cross to save me.”

--

Remember your mercies, O Lord, and with your eternal protection sanctify your servants for whom Christ your Son, by the shedding of his Blood, established the Paschal Mystery.

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