In C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Aslan reveals what is good about Friday - “It means,” said Aslan, “that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of Time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”
Good Friday is the day Jesus, a willing victim that had committed no sin, sacrificed Himself for us. Per Webster dictionary, sacrifice is defined as: “an act of offering to a deity something precious; surrender of something for the sake of something else.”
When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites – all their sins – and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness. … The man who releases the goat as a scapegoat must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water; afterward he may come into the camp. – Leviticus 16:20-22, 26. Now you know the origin of the term, “scapegoat”. In the Bible, sacrifice is to make an offering of; to consecrate or present to a divinity by way of expiation or propitiation, or as a token acknowledgement or thanksgiving; to immolate on the altar of God, in order to atone for sin, to procure favor, or to express thankfulness. There were many sacrifice rituals practiced in Old Testament times. The blood of goats and calves provided atonement for a time. But the Israelites would return to their old ways and the process would have to be repeated. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. … God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1John 2:1-2, 4:9-10. Jesus the Christ, the righteous One, through His sinless life provided the perfect sacrifice to put death to sin. Jesus offered Himself once for all of mankind. There is no further need of the Old Testament sacrifice practices. Good Friday is good because it demonstrates God’s love for us.
Dads, commit time to initiate discussion around Jesus’ sacrifice and why Good Friday is good. One idea is to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as a family and talk about the spiritual context C.S. Lewis offers throughout the story. Another is to read John 19 together and discuss the cup Jesus accepted in obedience to His Father.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and for Your love. The sacrifice Jesus offered for man is incomprehensible. I cannot get my arms around that kind of love. Help me as we approach Holy week to take a step forward in my understanding of Your love. I want to learn to love as You love, better today than yesterday, better tomorrow than today. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father views Good Friday through the lens of God’s love.