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Innocent man walking

It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him. The notice of the accusation against him said: "The King of the Jews". They also crucified two bandits with Jesus, one on his right and the other on his left.

Mark 16 : 25 - 27 (GNB)

Our passage this week looks at what makes Good Friday significant, and the reason behind why we celebrate Easter, which incidentally doesn't have anything to do with chocolate eggs or bunnies.

As we know on Good Friday Jesus was executed by the Roman authorities as a common criminal. Sentenced to die in a way which was one of the most agonising and publicly humiliating ways known to the Roman legal system, by crucifixion.

At the time this was a pretty common way for the Romans to carry out the death penalty, and could probably be seen as the equivalent of hanging which was used for the same punishment in this country. However, how he died isn't the key issue here, but instead why. Thousands of people were killed by the Romans in this way, all without any real significance to history. After all it was simply a tool in the Roman legal system.

The difference with Jesus and his crucifixion is that unlike the others he was not a common criminal. He was not getting the punishment that he deserved. He had not committed any crimes, let alone a crime worthy of capital punishment.

A miscarriage of justice or execution of an innocent man may have been worthy of the tabloids at the time but there was something else immensely significant which made this different. Jesus, the innocent man they crucified was the son of God. This whole ordeal was part of God's plan to set right the mistakes of humanity. God allowed his son to become an ultimate sacrifice to make good all of humanities crimes of the past, and all of their crimes of the future.

This one man changed the relationship between humanity and God forever. Allowing us to be seen as acceptable and right with God despite our faults. Easter time reminds us of the ultimate new start that Jesus has given us through his traumatic experience on the cross. Have a great Easter and a great week.

This week's song is Til the day I die by TobyMac.

Header image by: Luis Marina via Flickr