Dallas Willard once said something at a conference that cuts against the grain of a popular understanding of what Christianity is all about. He said this:
Jesus didn’t go to the cross so we wouldn’t have to. He went to the cross so we could join him there.
Following Jesus isn’t a matter of escaping a penalty and gradually improving our lives. It’s a matter of dying and being raised to a completely new kind of life. But we don’t experience that resurrection until we join Jesus on the cross and die to the old life.
May we learn to die well on this Good Friday.