On Good Friday across the world Christians and even non-Christians begin their plans for easter celebration through the weekend. Ultimately Good Friday for the Christian pushes our thinking to the cross and what it has accomplished. So instead of debating whether it should be Good Friday, or Wednesday or whatever other day…let us look at the power of the cross!
Why is the cross so important to the Christian faith? Substitution. Christ taking our place, all of the wrath of God against all sin was poured out on Him in our place. Charles Spurgeon once preached,
“Unbeliever, if God cannot and will not forgive the sins of penitent men without Christ taking their punishment, rest assured he will surely bring you to judgment. If, when Christ had imputed sin laid on him, God smote him, how will he smite you who are his enemy, and who have your own sins upon your head? God seemed at Calvary to take an oath and say, ‘By the blood of my Son I swear that sin must be punished!’ If it is not punished in Christ for you, it will be punished in you for yourselves.” He says in another sermon, “If Christ who was God’s Son, suffered so bitterly for sins that were not His own, how bitterly must you, who are God’s enemies, suffer for sins that are your own? And you must suffer so suffer unless Christ, the substitute, stands for you.”
Whether todays humanistic culture that wants to worship mankind above their creator (Rom 1:18-32) wants to believe it or not, the fact remains God takes sin seriously, in fact God to be just and to truly uphold his justice and holiness must judge sin. Spurgeon greatly points out that your sin will either be judged in Christ for you, or in you.
Substitution: “In one word, the great fact on which the Christian’s hope rests is substitution. The vicarious sacrifice of Christ for the sinner, Christ’s suffering for the sinner, Christ’s being made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, Christ offering up a true and proper substitutionary sacrifice in the place of as many as the Father gave him, who are recognized by their trusting in him, this is the cardinal fact of the gospel.” – Charles Spurgeon