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?