Every year, our Easter celebrations rightfully focus on Jesus, God the Son who died on the cross on Good Friday and rose again on Easter Sunday. We will inevitably sing great songs of praise like “Halleluiah what a Savior.” But I don’t want us to forget that Good Friday and Easter were a Trinitarian effort. We must remember that both the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus were events planned by God the Father in eternity past, so that we can also say that God the Father is our Savior. We rightfully think of Jesus as being our Savior, but six times in the New Testament, God the Father is also called “our Savior” (1 Tim 1:1, 2:3, 4:10, Titus 1:3, 2:10, 3:4). This shouldn’t surprise us since God is known as Israel’s Savior over thirty times in the Old Testament (Ps 106:21). This is the nature of God. He is a saving God! And the Easter story reveals the Father’s saving work in orchestrating all the details so that both Good Friday and Easter happened.
Good Friday: God Put Forward
In Romans 3:24-25 the Apostle Paul says that sinners are “justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood.” Don’t miss the fact that it was God who made the cross happen. Yes, it is true that Jesus was crucified by evil men. But it was God the Father who “put forward” His Son. This is also confirmed by the Apostle Peter in Acts 2:23, when he says that Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.” Understand that Good Friday was God’s plan for making sure there was a sacrifice worthy to satisfy His own wrath against sin. This is seen in the word “propitiation.” This word means to satisfy, like one whose debt has been fully paid. Why did God put forth His Son to be killed and have His blood spilled? God knew that it was only the blood of His spotless Son who could “propitiate” or satisfy His own wrath toward sinners. God the Father, sent His own Son into the world (Jn 3:16), to pay the debt that sin had created and to satisfy His own holy wrath against sin. Oh, what a Savior!
Easter: God Raised Up
But not only was the cross on Good Friday orchestrated by God the Father, the resurrection on Easter Sunday was as well. Who raised up Jesus who had been in the grave for “three days and three nights” (Matt 12:40)? The Apostle Peter answers this question clearly in Acts 2:24 when he says, “God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” (See also Acts 3:15, 1 Cor 6:14, Eph 1:20, Romans 8:11, 2 Cor 4:14). The resurrection of Jesus was God’s doing. It was God’s way of putting His stamp of approval on the sacrifice that Jesus had made. It was God’s way of telling the world that truly He was a Savior, a Savior from sin, death, and Satan. The resurrection of Jesus proves that death had been destroyed, Satan had been conquered, and sin’s penalty had been fully paid (Heb 2:14, 1 Cor 15:55, Col 2:15).
So this year when we reflect on Good Friday and celebrate on Easter, let’s not forget this fundamental truth that while Jesus is our Savior, so is God the Father. It was God the Father who planned our salvation and acted to ensure that Jesus was put forward and raised from the dead.
As we close, we would be amiss if we forgot the Holy Spirit who is also active in our salvation. While it was the Father who planned it all, and the Son who accomplished it on the cross, it is God the Holy Spirit who applies salvation to our hearts. The Apostle Paul gloriously reveals this Trinitarian effort in our salvation clearly in Ephesians 1:3-14. Our salvation was a Trinitarian effort, so that we can say emphatically that the entire God-head is our Savior! Oh, what a Savior!