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On this Good Friday in 2022 just before Easter, Christians around the world commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ – and soon, on Sunday, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead to fulfill the scriptures.
Jesus willingly entered his crucifixion, where the apostle Paul called the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ “of first significance” to the saving gospel of Christianity (1 Cor. 15: 3-4).
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Dr. Frank Turek, a North Carolina-based faculty member at Summit Ministries and president of CrossExamined.org, told Fox News Digital that Christians may be tempted to consider Good Friday as a “gloomy” day – but that it is actually very “good” news”. “for believers.
‘Liberating’ implications of Good Friday
Turek said that despite “intense” personal and political divisions today, we can all agree on one thing: There is something “terribly wrong” in the world today.
“Pain, suffering, injustice and death affect us all at some point because we live in a ruined world,” he said. “And we live in a ruined world because we are all personally ruined.”
“The innocent and perfect Jesus took upon himself the punishment you and I deserve, so that we might be forgiven of our moral error and be reconciled to God.”
Yes, he said – we have all made “moral mistakes”. And “the truth is, we have all fallen.”
Turek pointed out that we “rarely notice” the evil we ourselves do. “We can call our political opponents hypocrites – but we do not even live up to our own standards, much less God’s,” he noted. “We are all guilty of something.”
It is only after we admit our own personal guilt that we can discern the “liberating and eternal” consequences of Good Friday, Turek said. “That was when the innocent and perfect Jesus took the punishment you and I deserve, so that we could be forgiven of our moral faults and be reconciled to God,” he said.
Each of us may be tempted to ask, “Why do I need to be forgiven and reconciled to God?” or “Can’t God just judge me on a curve?” But we need forgiveness and reconciliation because God is “infinitely just,” Turek said.
“Without God as the moral standard, any behavior would simply be a matter of meaning – even murder, rape and child abuse.”
“If he did not punish moral errors, then he would not be the infinite standard of justice,” he said. “We know that this standard of justice exists because without it we could not recognize any of the injustices we complain about – all the injustices in our society, or any evil that has been done to us personally.”
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Turek explained that logically, injustice can not exist unless justice exists; and righteousness can not exist unless God exists. “Without God as the moral standard, any behavior would just be a matter of meaning,” he said, “even murder, rape, and child abuse.”
The redemptive power of the cross
Turek noted the redemptive significance of the cross. “Fortunately, God is also the infinite standard of love, which compels him to find a way to allow unjust people like you and me to go unpunished,” he said.
“He does this by punishing Jesus of Nazareth – who volunteers to the mission – in our place. ”
“The Son of man ‘came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many,'” Turek said, referring to Mark 10:45.
“Just before he went to the cross, Jesus also declared that there is no greater love than ‘giving his life for his friends,'” as revealed in John 15:13, he continued.
“Jesus was the absolutely good person in our place. He has done all the work for us and offers his life for ours as a gift.”
On the original Good Friday, Jesus did not suffer and die to make us “nice people” – but “forgiven people,” Turek emphasized. “Jesus is not just a moral example like other religious leaders. Jesus is our substitute.”
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He also said, “Since we have already committed moral crimes, we can not work our way to God by being a ‘good man.'” Jesus was the perfectly good person in our place. He has done all the work for us and offers his life for ours as a gift. “
Turek explained that when we accept this gift, “we are not alone forgiven, but given The righteousness of Christ. ”
We are “new creatures” incorporated into the family of God “by grace without works” as revealed in 2 Corinthians 5: 17-21 and Ephesians 2: 8, Turek said.
Without this grace, we will each receive the justice we deserve, he noted. “If you think about your life and all the hidden things you’ve ever done, then you do really does God want justice? ”
“Justice is to get what you deserve. Grace is to get what you do not deserve,” he said.
“The only way to avoid righteousness is to accept the grace Jesus gives by putting your trust in him.”
“Justice is to get what you deserve. Grace is to get what you do not deserve.”
Turek stressed that when we accept Jesus’ sacrifice, we are “freed from our past, present, and future injustices by making forgiveness and eternal life possible,” as explained in John 3:16, which reads: “For so much did God love the world. “that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
“That’s why Good Friday is really ‘good,'” Turek said. “In fact, it’s the best news ever.”
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In addition to his work with Summit Ministries and CrossExamined.org, Turek is also a co-author of the book “Hollywood Heroes: How Your Favorite Movies Reveal God.”