Theological question: Which came first Forgiveness or Good Friday?

02 Apr

A new friend from church posed this question to me today… I think it is a good one:

“Which came first Forgiveness or Good Friday?”

Here is my response… would love to hear yours too!


That is a good question John…

My quick take: the cross is the mechanism for forgiveness.

It is both an historical event and a cosmological event.

In that sense, the work of the cross takes place outside of serial time. In other words, on the cross, all sins are forgiven — past, present and future. So I think we can affirm two things: all forgiveness comes through the cross* and forgiveness/grace predates the events of AD 33.

*one asterick… of course, the OT sacrificial system seems to have provided forgiveness through the shedding of blood. I would argue that even that forgiveness comes through the cross and that the animal sacrifice is simply a picture of what is to come… 

Hebrews 11 outlines how “righteousness was credited to Abraham by faith” (and others) — I think the author of Hebrews is arguing that the work of the cross is “bi-directional” in terms of time… working efficaciously both before and after the historical event.

So which came first? Forgiveness or Good Friday? — hard to say, but I know God’s plan for salvation pre-dates both.

What do you think?


1 Comment

Posted by on April 2, 2010 in Uncategorized


One response to “Theological question: Which came first Forgiveness or Good Friday?

  1. Ben D.

    April 2, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    <p>I agree with you Nancy… it is the nature of God that is central, not the transaction. But there is a legal perspective of the cross (justification) that think is important… the declaration of "not guilty" is powerful!</p><p>BD</p>



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