We call it Good Friday, but for those who experienced it, a better name would have been Terrible Friday.

On that day, when an instrument of death and torture became the throne for the King of kings, the disciples of Jesus slept while their Savior suffered such mental anguish that his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Then religious leaders bribed, cheated, and lied to trap Jesus with blatant injustice, causing His disciples—His friends—to cower in fear, denying and forsaking their Savior.

Jesus endured a mock trial filled with ironies, illegalities, contradictions, and tragedies. Jesus, God in the flesh, was slapped, stabbed, beaten, and spat upon; He experienced physical pain and humiliation beyond description. But nothing He endured could compare with the wrath of God that was poured out on Him for the sins of the world. Your sin, my sin—Jesus paid it all on Good Friday.

Read Luke 22:39-46. The author of Hebrews tells us that “[f]or the joy set before him [Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame” (12:2). Even in the midst of tremendous sorrow and agony, Jesus could see the joy that would come in His obedience to God—the joy of knowing that countless people would be saved and spend eternity with Him.

You see, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was deeply distressed and troubled. In His divinity, He knew what was in store for Him. In His humanity, He wondered if there was another way. Make no mistake about it—Jesus gave His life willingly. He prayed, “Abba, Father, . . . everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36).

How can we be sure of Christ’s victory? Because of the resurrection. It is the greatest proof that God redeems sinners and that all who come to Him in repentance will find forgiveness and eternal life in Him. It is because of the cross that there is an empty tomb—for in God’s economy, life comes from death. And it is all because of Good Friday, a day that is most appropriately named, after all.

Prayer: Lord, may I never become numb to the price You paid to save me. Thank You for Your willingness to give Your life on Good Friday. Thank You for paying the price for my sins and for saving me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“[S]ince we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, . . . let us draw near to God” (Hebrews 10:19-20, 22).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series The Cross: It Was…It Is…It Will Always Be: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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