Good Friday is the Friday before Easter that we as Christians remember as the darkest time recorded in Christianity - the crucifixion of Christ. When we recount what Jesus went through on this day, it seems misleading to call this day good. It is nearly impossible to illustrate or comprehend the emotions, the agony, the horror of such a time. A man who was innocent took our guilt upon himself so that we could be free. In today's world, especially, this would be unheard of! He wasn't just hung on a cross and left to die, He was tortured! He was beaten, pierced, mutilated and more for a world that disregarded and abandoned him. The entire purpose was for us to be free from sin, to be free from all we would ever be guilty of.
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2 NIV). God always has a plan! In order to carry the weight of the worst things imaginable, there had to be a righteous sacrifice of radical love of the greatest measure, a father allowing his only son to be sacrificed. God allows His only son to die to show us His love for the world.
As a Christian and someone who has been raised in Christianity all my life, it never really occurred to me the significance of the term "Good Friday." It was always just a name for the Friday before Easter, but it means so much more! Sometimes in order to see the good in someone, or something, we must first learn to appreciate its goodness. Or, we might take it for granted. We can skip to the glorious resurrection on Easter but miss the opportunity for true gratitude at just what Christ went through for you and for me. Sometimes, we must look at the tragedy in order to appreciate the triumph.
The tragedy was what Jesus Christ went through for us, a people totally undeserving. The tragedy was the violence, the ridicule, the hatred from people that Jesus endured. Yes, we know how the story ends in just a few days but as the scripture says, "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens" (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV). If we go down to verse 4 we see the scripture states, "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance."
Good Friday may seem a time of mourning and there is justification in this emotion as we remember this dark day. The darkness has to come in order for us to see the light!
If you were born in darkness and that is all you have ever known, you would not know there could be any difference. It wouldn't be until someone came in and turned on a light, or opened up the curtains, that you would know that things could even be different. The darkness came on Good Friday so that would see and have a lasting hope in The Light of the world.
Jesus' blood, shed for us, truly demonstrates His goodness, love, and mercy. The crucifixion demonstrates when justice and grace meet guilt and mercy the world received true, lasting redemption.
The good news of redemption only makes sense once we see we were enslaved to sin. Christ paid the ultimate price! Though the punishment was very grim, the outcome was good.... thus, the reason "Good" Friday really is SO GOOD!
Kenneth Colgate, Assistant Pastor at UNLIMI†ED Ministries