Have you ever looked back on your life and said, “If I had only known _____, then life would have been so different.” If I had known in back in 1998 that Google would have hit big time, I would have invested and made millions. If I had known that Lhasa Apso breeds bark like a shrilling fire alarm, I would not have a claimed one of those free puppies from a friend. If I had known my friend would commit suicide three hours after I spoke with him, I would have never left his side. If only I had known.
Today is Good Friday. A day set aside in remembrance of our Savior’s last day alive before His resurrection. A day that began early, probably right after midnight, when He told Peter, “Before the rooster crows you will deny me three times; with an early morning prayer, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will;” with a betrayal by a servant companion of three years; with a kangaroo court filled with false witnesses; with the denial by His beloved friend Peter; then being beaten and scourged and a crown of thorns plunged onto His head; then forced to carry His cross; then nails driven into His hands and His feet; His cross hoisted up at 9 in the morning where for the next six hours He labored and fought for every breath; and finally uttering, “It is finished,” and He bowed His head and died.
The thing is about this day? Jesus knew ... beforehand. He told His disciples months before, “I must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things ... and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Matt. 16:21). Jesus knew. Even way early in His ministry He told Nicodemus, “the Son of Man must be lifted up” (John 3:14). Jesus knew. And then even before He was born, before descending down from eternal glory to be born a babe, Jesus said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me” (Heb. 10:5). Jesus knew.
This is what makes Good Friday good. It is good not just because Jesus knew the sacrificial path before Him, but because He knew that His obedient surrender, even unto death, and then unto resurrection would bring good to us who believe in His saving work. Jesus knew. And even more precious to my own heart is this – Jesus knew me. Jesus testified, “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own and my own know me” (John 10:14). Jesus knew. Glory be to God, Jesus knew.