1. Jesus knows our flaws. Even though Jesus knew Peter would deny him, he chose the cross for him (and us) anyways (Matt 26:75). This gooder thing happens before sunrise on Good Friday.
2. Jesus’ suffering happens on a holy day: the Passover. It’s so holy that the priests won’t enter the Roman governor’s house because they are worried about being defiled. If you like irony, this is it. The priests basically say, “We are happy to convince a Roman governor to crucify an innocent man, but entering his house, that won’t work. You see, we really want to eat a holy, religious meal. We love the God of Israel, and wish to obey all his commandments.” Sure you do, you sleezsters. Now tell me this, “Is religion a problem?” I think so, people. I think so. This gooder thing happens at day break on Good Friday (Luke 23:66).
3. Jesus is a different type of king. Kings on earth may massacre and pillage, but Jesus’ kingdom is heavenly. He creates and restores. Pilate asks Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” According to Matthew’s gospel, Jesus responds with two Greek words that mean, “You have said so” (Matt 27:11). If that’s not nonchalant, I don’t know what is. But get this, when Jesus was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gives no answer. (For the reason, read my last post.) The governor is greatly amazed (Matt 27:14). I can hear the words of Isaiah 52 and 53—the subject of my forthcoming book—echoed again: “kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them, they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate” (Isa 52:15, my translation). Jesus responds to Pilate (in John’s gospel) by saying, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:37). Initially, Pilate wants to let Jesus go. His mouth is basically shut, but the priesthood convinces him to rethink his decision. So Pilate flogs Jesus, and then (likely) encourages Roman soldiers to put a crown of thorns on his head (John 18:38–19:4). Jesus is a gooder type of king—gooder indeed. This gooder thing happens at mid-morning on Good Friday.
4. Jesus doesn’t give in to the demands of rulers on this earth. When Pilate says, “Shall I crucify your King?”—mocking both the Jews he ruled over and Jesus—the chief priests say, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:58). What? No king but Caesar? I thought you guys wanted to rebel against Caesar. But when you know what hits the fan, sleazy people say stuff like this. They give up fighting the kingdoms of this earth for the sake of power and authority—however finite that authority is. (Here’s where the whole notion of seeing the infinite in everything comes into play.) But Jesus isn’t like them. He serves the God in heaven—not the kings or kingdoms of this earth. This gooder thing also happen mid-morning on Good Friday.
5. Jesus doesn’t care about “being friends” with the enemy. After Luke describes Herod’s mistreatment of Jesus, he makes this remark: “And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day” (Luke 23:12). While the enemy is being friendly, Jesus is doing something godly. This gooder thing probably happened midday on Good Friday.
7. Jesus is willing to stand in the place of a murderer. When Barabbas, the murderer, is let off the hook instead of Jesus by Pilate (Mark 15:6–14), Jesus could have spoke up and said, “Are you crazy?” Or he could have called his angels down. But he lets the man go—saying nothing. How many of us have received grace from Jesus when we didn’t deserve it? Grace is gooder than what we deserve—much gooder.
8. Jesus is beat and mocked for us. To shoot straight, it’s a bit difficult for me to describe this without tearing up, so check out: Matt 27:27–31, Mark 15:16–20, and John 19:2–3. It’s hard to see what gooder thing there is in this. But keep in mind, that Jesus is mocked and beat for us—all to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah: “he carried [the] sin of many and will intercede for transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12, my translation). We all desperately need someone to intercede for our sin. That’s gooder than dying in sin.
10. Jesus died for us. This also makes me teary eyed. So check out: Matt 27:32–44, Mark 15:21–32, Luke 23:26–43, and John 19:16–37. And that’s the most gooder part of all of Good Friday. So let’s do what the author of Hebrews says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (the other people who have followed Jesus), let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:1–2). Jesus can save us, all we have to do is cry out to Him and say we believe.
"For in [Christ] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him [God] reconciled to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross" (Col 1:19–20). May you be at peace with God through Christ. May the fullness of God also dwell in you.
Later Today—Bonus Post: "The Lost Servant"—A Poem
Tomorrow: “5 Things Jesus Taught Me on the Cross.”
Easter Sunday—Bonus Post: "Resurrected Jesus, Resurrected Us."