For the Christian Church, Good Friday is the day when Jesus Christ was put to death on the cross. The cross is the universal symbol of the Christian faith because Christ’s death is a turning point in human history. Normally anyone’s death is only significant to those who miss them but the death of Jesus Christ had a tremendous influence to the whole world. Jesus explained to his disciples that he came into the world to sacrifice his own life in order to give eternal life to those who believed in him.
In the last week of his life he told his disciples, “The hour has come for the Son of Man (himself) to be glorified.” At the beginning of that week he rode into Jerusalem on a young donkey. The people believed that this meant he was coming as their king and so they honoured him with palm branches to walk on and greeted him with shouts of “Hosanna to the King”.
The disciples thought Jesus would now become the King of Israel in Jerusalem. But Jesus teaches that he did not come to receive glory as an earthly king. Therefore he told a short parable to explain how he would enter into glory. He said:
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
Jesus takes an example from nature to explain why he must die to enter into glory. There is no glory in a single kernel of wheat, but if you let it fall to the ground and it dies, new growth comes from that kernel and once it grows into a mature plant it will produce many seeds. The glory of the single seed lies in the many seeds it produces.
He taught his disciples that if he became a king as the people wanted, he would be just like a single kernel of grain, a king without citizens. But by giving his life on the cross, he will become the King of a kingdom whose citizens would never perish. By his death he would pay for the sins of many who will receive eternal life in the kingdom of heaven.
On Good Friday, the Lord Jesus died on the cross and they buried him in the tomb. But on Easter Sunday, he rose from the dead and conquered sin and death. He is the risen Lord who has now entered into glory with his Father in heaven.
In heaven he received authority from his Father to be King over the whole world. Through his death he has become an eternal king with numerous citizens who serve him forever.