11th March 2022

2022 Easter Series Part 3: Good Friday – Love Changes Everything

BUV 2022 4-Part Easter Series: Love Beyond Measure
Part 3: Good Friday – Love Changes Everything

For Jesus, the cross and the journey toward it was his passion. 

‘Passion’ comes from the Latin: passionem meaning, ‘suffering, enduring’ and for Christians this refers to the short final period in the life of Jesus beginning with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and ending with his crucifixion and his death on Good Friday. It includes, among other events, the last supper; Jesus’ agony in the garden; his arrest by the Sanhedrin priests; and his trial before Pontius Pilate. Those parts of the four Gospels, that describe these events, are known as the “passion narratives”

  • Agony
  • Betrayal
  • Accusation
  • Desertion
  • Injustice
  • Mockery
  • Death

The PASSION of Jesus.

The Scriptures say, ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son’ (John 3:16) however, we need to understand that Jesus didn’t go to the cross unwillingly – he went because he too, was motivated by love – his passion.

His love for you and for me; his love for this world; his love for the people you either don’t love or find it difficult to love; his love for the unlovable.

Jesus’ love (beyond measure) motivates His passion.

Death conjures up images of the grim reaper or that of a graveside. We, in the west, have largely removed death from the living room and placed into the sanitized confines of the mortuary, away from our gaze, out of sight, and out of mind. We are uncomfortable with images of death, pain and suffering and we squirm at the notion that we all (each and every single one of us) will face death,  trails and tribulations at one time or another.

Hebrews 12:2 states, ‘Jesus endured the cross’.

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The cross is where we see the convergence of ‘great suffering’ and ‘God’s forgiveness’. Psalm 85:10 sings of a day when ‘righteousness and peace’ will ‘kiss each other’. The cross of Jesus is where that occurred, where God’s demands, his righteousness, coincided with his mercy. We receive forgiveness, mercy, and peace because Jesus willingly took our punishment.

The German theologian Jurgen Moltmann expresses in a single sentence the great span from Good Friday to Easter. It is, in fact, a summary of human history, past, present, and future: “God weeps with us so that we may someday laugh with him.”

Love changes everything…

Max Lucado in his book, Six Hours One Friday, tells the story of a missionary in Brazil who discovered a tribe of Indians in a remote part of the jungle.

They lived near a large river. The tribe was in need of medical attention. A contagious disease was ravaging the population. People were dying daily. A hospital was not too terribly far away—across the river, but the Indians would not cross it because they believed the river was inhabited by evil spirits. And to enter its water would mean certain death.

The missionary explained how he had crossed the river and was unharmed. But they were not impressed. He then took them to the bank and placed his hand in the water. They still wouldn’t go in. He walked into the water up to his waist and splashed water on his face. It didn’t matter. They were still afraid to enter the river. Finally, he dove into the river, swam beneath the surface until he emerged on the other side. He raised a triumphant fist into the air. He had entered the water and escaped. It was then that the Indians broke into a cheer and followed him across.

Isn’t that what Jesus did? He entered this realm, he entered the river of death, and he came out on the other side so that we might no longer fear death, but find eternal life in Him.

For discussion

Can you think of a story of when someone sacrificed something of significance for you or for someone you know? What did that sacrifice cost? What emotions are stirred up when you reflect on sacrifices people make for others?

When life gets tough or when things don’t go as you might have planned how does this challenge your understanding of God and His provision in your life? Why so you suppose God allows us to go through times of pain and difficulty? Where is God when life gets tough?


For context, read Hebrews 12:1-13

  1. How does this passage speak to you in the circumstances of your life, past, present, or perhaps in the future?
  2. What do these verses reveal about the nature of God?
  3. What does God expect of us when we face pain, trials, tribulations, and struggle?


Are your passions in life in line with what God is passionate about? If not, what might you do to redirect some of your passions? What causes are you prepared to fight for or even give your life for?

What stirs deep emotion in you? How does Jesus’ death impact you on a day-to-day basis? How does God’s love, as revealed in this passage and other passages in Scripture, help you navigate life and some of the challenges and disappointments we face?

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Palm Sunday - The Humble King
Part 4: Love Has Overcome

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