It’s amazing to think that an instrument of Roman torture and death was used by God as an instrument for the salvation of the world. God used something despised and feared and brought good out of it. This is what He is in the business of doing. He changes lives and gives purpose to them. He uses the unlikeliest of champions to defend the faith. He rescues the down-and-out of society and gives them hope. He changed my life and he’s changed millions like me over the two thousand years of Christian history.
Yet many people spurn the cross of Christ as being irrelevant to them. Some have mocked it and even believed the historical event of Jesus’ death to be a myth. That is a form of escapism because the evidence proves the event better than just about any other from ancient history.
If we can accept that Jesus did die on a cross, then we are confronted with the question of what that should mean for us. As C.S. Lewis, writer of the famed Narnia series, puts it, Jesus gives us three options. We either consider Him to be a lunatic who deluded Himself into believing He was the Son of God, or He was a liar and went to His death to support that lie, or He was who He said he was, the Son of God who came to earth to save from their sins any who would accept His gift of eternal life. The first two options require us to believe that Jesus conned or coerced his followers to die gruesome deaths for something that had no validity, even after He was gone from the earth. This is not only highly unlikely, but when added to all the other evidence for the historical event of the crucifixion, if not the resurrection, it forces us to be far less dismissive of something far more important than anything else we could ever face.
This Good Friday, why not get Jesus back on the agenda? Why not unashamedly talk about the event that not only has the power to change lives (if we let it!) but which gives the four days off that everyone enjoys. Surely that very fact alone makes Jesus a great entry into any Easter weekend conversation!