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  • Jason Wilson

Friday Devotion: Good Friday





There are moments in Scripture where the only response is to silence whatever background noise is in your mind and allow yourself to be in heart-gripping, jaw-gaping, knee-weakening awe of the glorious glory of the debt-canceling grace of the suffering and death of Jesus. 


Colossians 2:13-15 is one of those moments. 


You can’t be in heart-silencing awe of this grace and minimize the seriousness of sin at the same time. The awe this passage is designed to produce is meant to yank us out of our moral apathy and into a kind of awareness and rejoicing in grace that not only produces gratitude, but a life of willing and joyful surrender.


“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” 


This Good Friday, stop and consider the life-changing glory of this explanation of the Savior’s work for us on the cross.


1. Consider your condition. “And you, who were dead in your trespasses.” 


Apart from the life-giving grace of Jesus, you and I really were dead people walking. Dead to hunger for God. Dead to the awareness of the gravity of our sin. Dead to seeking his grace. Dead to a desire to live for his glory. Dead to an understanding of his gospel. Dead to any ability to exercise faith. 


We were spiritually dead in the full sense of what that means. A spiritual corpse is not capable of spiritual desire or spiritual living. A dead person has no ability to undead himself. Being dead in your trespasses is a tragic and terminal condition apart from the miracle of divine intervention.


2. Consider God’s intervention. “God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” 


With an amazing economy of words, Paul beautifully summarizes the rescuing and forgiving power of the justifying grace of Jesus on the cross. Because we were dead, God had to breathe spiritual life into our hearts, which he willingly and graciously did. And because we were rebels against God’s holy law, having sinned against him from birth, a price had to be paid for our forgiveness.


The price was the suffering and death of Jesus. He, who was sinless, took the debt for our sin on himself. That debt load was, in the person of Jesus, nailed to the cross. The record of all our sins—past, present and future—was cancelled, eternally erased from our account, in that moment on the cross.

 

This is our identity in Christ. We stand before our Lord, spotless, as if we had never sinned.


3. Consider God’s victory. “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”

 

You may be tempted to think that the cross was a momentary defeat, turned around by the victory of the resurrection. But that’s not how Paul describes the death of Jesus on the cross. On the cross Jesus was disarming the devil and his demon armies. 


This is what you do in war. Once you have defeated the enemy, you confiscate his weapons. You may even put them on display, as a public declaration of the extent of your victory, putting your defeated foe to shame. 


On the cross, God was publicly displaying his triumph over the forces of evil. From the first moments after the fall of Adam and Eve to the thousands of years leading to the birth of Jesus, to this moment on the cross, the enemy was unable to stop the march of God’s plan of redemption. 


God harnessed the forces of nature and controlled the events of human history so that at just the right time, his Son would come, live a perfectly righteous life, die an acceptable and substitutionary death, rise again, conquering sin and death, and ascend to the right hand of the Father.


Nothing or no one had the power to stop the triumph of grace over sin. So, in your ongoing struggle with temptation and sin, know that you are battling a defeated enemy, who, when you resist in the power that is yours as a child of God, will flee from you.


So, stop today, and let your heart take in the glorious glory of the grace that is yours because Jesus was willing to suffer and die for your eternal victory. 

May awe at his sacrifice produce not only gratitude and celebration, but a life of daily surrender.


  • P. Tripp  

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