When we think about someone’s “best day” we associate it with something good happening — a great adventure, a rewarding experience, or a joyous occasion, conversely when we think about someone’s “worst day” we associate it with something bad happening — a great tragedy, a devastating experience, an unexpected setback or loss.
What was Jesus’ best day? Was it at the wedding in Cana when He performed His first miracle? Was it in the countryside when He fed 5000 hungry people? All of these moments were filled with awe and wonder, happiness and celebration, blessing and delight, but none of these moments compare with the joy that was set before Him.
His best day was not a “most fun” day, but the day of His greatest suffering. His best day was the day He went to the cross. Can that really be true? Wasn’t the cross Jesus’ worst day?
From a human perspective, everything about the cross looks like His worst day. His beaten body, the pain of the nails being driven into His hands and feet, the agony and the shame, His blood poured out — all of these point to seeming failure and defeat if we do not understand the reason for His suffering. The events that preceded the cross only seem to heighten the sense of failure — the betrayal, the false witness brought against Him, the illegal trial, the mockery, the spitting, the pulling out of His beard, the lashing of His flesh, the crown of thorns.
But from a divine perspective, the crucifixion, with all its horror, was Jesus’ best day. It was His best day because prophetically this truly was “the day that the Lord had made.” It was the day that would cause us “to be glad and rejoice in it.” All of Jesus’ life on earth pointed to this day. Regarding His death on the cross, Jesus said, “It was for this very purpose that I have come to this hour.” The prophet Isaiah tells us, “It pleased the LORD to bruise Him.”
The cross was Jesus’ best day because He did the will of His Father, because He glorified and pleased the Father through His obedience, and because He finished and fulfilled the work the Father sent Him to do. The cross was His best day because it meant the day of salvation, the day of redemption, and the day of our eternal hope. Jesus’ death on the cross has made it possible for this day to be your best day.
Roy Lessin is the author of ‘Today is Your Best Day’ and co-founder of DaySpring, now a subsidiary of Hallmark Inc., and the largest Christian greeting card company in the world. He served as DaySpring’s senior writer for 37 years. His blog, Meet Me in the Meadow, provides inspiration for an audience of over one million people, and that grows daily.