Throughout history, millions of men and women have laid down their own lives in battle against an enemy that threatened to take away their freedom. They died, not only for their friends, but they willingly died for people they didn't even know. On this day nearly two thousand years ago, a man named Jesus willingly laid down his life for every human being to defeat an enemy that threatened to enslave us for all of eternity. That enemy was Satan. In one fell swoop, Jesus defeated him by offering himself as our once-and-for-all sacrifice.
That is only part of the story. What separates Christianity from all other religions is that our God is the only one who died so that his enemies could live. Think about that for a moment and let the reality of that sink in. Jesus didn't die on the cross because we loved him. He died on the cross because we didn't love him. Isaiah 53:3 says, "He was despised and rejected--a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care." Yet, he died for us anyway. Man's method of dealing with his enemies is to kill them. God's method is to reconcile them so they can live with him.
Wait! There is more. Not only did the God of the universe die for his enemies so that they could live, he made them his very own sons and daughters. John 3:1 says, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" That is the good news of the Gospel. We were enemies of God but now we are his sons and daughters. Wow! I can think of no better definition of lavish love than that.
As you celebrate Good Friday today and remember what Jesus did for you on the cross, my prayer is that you would come to the full knowledge and understanding of the love Jesus lavished on you that changed you from his enemy into his son or daughter.