Good Friday impacts me more than any other day in the Christian calendar -- besides Easter itself. Today we are faced with the reality that Jesus "coming into His kingdom", as the thief on the cross so profoundly put it, was not a matter of just sitting down on the throne that was rightfully his -- although he could have done that. Jesus chose the harder way, but the way that also brought many "sons and daughters to glory" (Hebrews 2:10). Because Jesus chose the way of the cross, you are I are included in His kingdom, which is His kind and gentle reign. Jesus chose to "fall to the ground and die" like a seed (John 12: 24), so that from him and around him would grow a kingdom to shelter many (I will post on this from Claiming the Corner next week).
Here are David Woodrum's words from his "Kingdom Exploration":
"From the very beginning, Jesus of Nazareth was identified with a 'kingdom' that would be an everlasting kingdom without limitations of either duration of time or geographical extent of jurisdiction. Later revelation and prophetic announcements would reveal that 'all things' were placed under His feet by God the Father and creator of heaven and earth. Both those things which are seen and those things which cannot be seen shall submit to the jurisdictional extent of his reign. There will be no borders to the kingdom of God. There are no limits to His authority and benevolent rule...
Rightly recognizing who Jesus is in relation to God will aid us in rightly understanding who we are in Christ. From the very first angelic announcement, our Lord's identity and purpose was related to the expression, extension, expansion and establishment of a kingdom upon the earth under the authority of God in the heavens above." (Woodrum, page 43 - 44)
As you recognize this Good Friday and the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross, remember that it was through the "grave and gate of death" that Jesus established his kingdom for the renewal of all things!