Today’s Reading: Luke 22:66-23:49, Isaiah 53, John 3:16-21 On my desk sits a small wooden token. On one side of it is written a word that describes how I feel sometimes. That word is Failure.
Yes, I wish it wasn’t true, but sometimes I feel like a complete failure. There are times when I just don’t act like the person God created me to be. I don’t do my best at work, I let selfishness and pride creep into my heart, I make a hurtful comment to a friend… the list goes on. In these moments, I feel like a failure.
When I flip over my wooden token, I see another word. This word does not describe me at all; it describes Jesus. That word is Redeemer. I fail. Jesus redeems. To me, this is what Good Friday is about.
Luke 22:66-23:49 is a hard passage to read. Jesus is arrested on false charges, mocked by the very people who worshiped Him days earlier, and hung on a cross. No, I don’t like to sit in this passage. I’d much rather skip to the victorious events of Easter. But without Good Friday, there is no Easter. No joy. No redemption. No reason to celebrate.
As Jesus hung on the cross, enduring an agonizing death, a criminal hung next to Him. This man was not looking back at his life through rose-colored glasses. He knew he had failed epically. “We [him and the other criminal] are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve,” he says (Luke 23:41). As he makes this statement moments before his death, he has very little to offer Jesus. In fact, all he can give to Jesus is the final few minutes of his life. But for Jesus, that is enough.
“Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’” (Luke 23:41)
How is that kind of grace possible? Because at that very moment, Jesus was paying the steep price for that man’s failures. And mine. And yours.
“He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
Because of the wounds inflicted on Jesus on Good Friday, the curtain was torn and we are, now and forever, at peace with God.
Good Friday reminds me that because of my sin I am indeed a failure. But that’s not where the story ends. Thanks to Jesus, I can confidently flip over my token and remember I am redeemed.
How can you reflect on the events of Luke 22:66-23:49 today?
How is Jesus redeeming your failures?
Michael is our Base Camp Live! Content Coordinator.