That Special Friday
Good is a strange thing to call the Friday on which your hero was tortured and killed. Mourning Friday or Tragic Friday would be more natural titles. The original Good Friday was certainly anything but good for the original followers of Jesus. They were bewildered, grief-stricken, terrified, and heartbroken. Their hopes and dreams were dashed. They were in fear of being arrested and maybe killed, too.
On that fateful day, after being betrayed, arrested, and given a sham trial, Jesus was flogged, forced to wear a “crown” of thorns, mocked, spat upon, scourged, and ultimately nailed to a cross—the Roman means of public torture and humiliation used to deter future crime—until his body gave out and died. It is hard to fathom the agony Jesus experienced that day.
And yet, nearly 2,000 years later, we call it Good Friday. In fact, it didn’t take centuries of reflection to change the perspective on that horrific day of death. It only took days. Why? Because when looked upon after Easter Sunday, when Jesus rose from the dead, Friday’s events were understood very differently. Christ’s followers saw things in a new light. Instead of being the ultimate defeat, that day was the start of the greatest victory. Instead of being tragically killed, Jesus willingly sacrificed His life to pay for our sins. That day no longer marked the end of dreams; it was the beginning of a new movement, the Church, spreading the good news that anyone who turns to Jesus in faith can receive forgiveness and eternal life.
So, on Good Friday, take time to remember what Jesus did for you. Maybe you will shed a tear for the sin you’ve committed that He chose to pay for. Maybe you will shed a tear for the pain Jesus had to suffer to create a way for you to be reconciled to God. You just might cry just a bit when you realize how amazingly loved you are, even though you don’t deserve it.
But, most of all, be thankful. Be grateful that death doesn’t get the last word in this sin-stained world. It doesn’t win. God does. Love does. Life does. “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”—1 Corinthians 15:57. Yes, it is a good day!
To Learn More
To learn more about Good Friday, we invite you to join together with our church and other local churches for a special event that is specifically designed for families to participate in from home. My friend, Pastor Mike Foster of Forcey Bible Church, explains a bit more about what this event is all about here. We recommend you download the Worship Guide that accompanies the event, too.