Good Friday: Jesus Christ’s ultimate sacrifice, triumph of love

Crucifixion of Jesus Christ by Giotto: A masterpiece of religious iconography, c. 1304-1308

By Seyi Gesinde

Good Friday, a pivotal day in Christianity, commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, with its scriptural origin rooted in the New Testament, particularly the four Gospels: Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19.

According to the biblical narrative, Jesus was betrayed by his disciple Judas Iscariot, arrested by religious authorities, and subjected to trials before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor.

Despite Pilate finding no fault in Jesus (Matthew 27:24, Mark 15:14, Luke 23:4, John 18:38), He yielded to the crowd’s demands and sentenced Jesus to be crucified.

The Gospels vividly describe Jesus’ crucifixion, where He endured mockery, beatings, and ultimately was nailed to a cross, suffering and dying. Notably, Jesus’ cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34), reflects the depth of his suffering and the weight of bearing humanity’s sins.

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• Key Lessons of Good Friday with Jesus Christ at the centre:

1. Redemption through sacrifice: Good Friday epitomises Jesus’ sacrificial love, as He willingly laid down His life for the forgiveness of sins (John 3:16).

2. Forgiveness and reconciliation: Jesus’ crucifixion embodies God’s boundless mercy. Despite facing betrayal and injustice, Jesus prayed for forgiveness for His persecutors, emphasising the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation (Luke 23:34).

3. Victory over sin and death: Good Friday signifies Jesus’ triumph over sin and death. His death and resurrection offer eternal life to those who believe (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

4. Unconditional love: At its core, Good Friday portrays God’s unconditional love for humanity. Jesus’ sacrifice demonstrates the depth of this love, freely offered to all (Romans 5:8).

5. Humility and Servanthood: Jesus’ journey to the cross showcases humility and servanthood. Despite being the Son of God, he humbled himself, exemplifying selflessness (Philippians 2:5-8).

6. Compassion and Empathy: Throughout His crucifixion, Jesus displayed compassion and empathy. He comforted the repentant thief, cared for his mother, and prayed for his persecutors, teaching empathy (Luke 23:39-43, John 19:26-27, Luke 23:34).

7. The Call to Follow: Good Friday challenges believers to follow Jesus’ example. Christians are urged to take up their crosses, denying themselves and following Jesus wholeheartedly (Matthew 16:24).

In essence, Good Friday serves as a profound reminder of Jesus Christ’s sacrificial love, inviting believers to embody forgiveness, humility, compassion, and selflessness. It is a day of reflection, repentance, and gratitude for the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.

Call to repentance

Moreover, Good Friday serves as a poignant reminder of the call to repentance for sinners and unbelievers. Jesus Christ having demonstrated love with His ultimate sacrifice, died for the sins of all human beings. His action now provides a pathway for reconciliation between humanity and God.

Through His selfless act, Jesus paved the way for individuals to return to a relationship with God, which was broken due to sin. As unbelievers reflect on the significance of Good Friday, they are urged to embrace repentance and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, acknowledging Him as the only way to restore their sonship with God, whom sin separates. Thus, Good Friday not only symbolizes the triumph of love but also extends an invitation to all to receive the gift of salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ.

“Embrace the pathway to repentance and the confession of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, as outlined in Romans 10:9-10: ‘If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.’


May you find the strength and courage to take this transformative step, inviting Jesus into your heart and life. Let us pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of salvation through your Son, Jesus Christ. Grant us the faith to believe in our hearts and the courage to confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord. Guide us on the journey of repentance and lead us into a deeper relationship with you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”