Have you ever wondered why we call today Good Friday? Why is it good? It most definitely was not a good day for Jesus. It was a day that he dreaded. It was a day that he pleaded with God, his Father, to avoid. However, at the same time, it was something that he endured for the joy set before him (Hebrews 12:2). The joy must not have been in the experience on the cross, but in the knowledge of what the cross would accomplish for the people Jesus loved … us … them … the world. And since the cross did accomplish our salvation, this means that from our vantage point, the Friday on which Christ died was a very good day. In fact, I have heard some people call this day, “Good-for-us Friday.” However, I can’t help feeling like it is a little too self- absorbed to celebrate Jesus’ pain and suffering because of what it does for me.
To emphasize Easter, I have heard it said that we call Good Friday good because of the resurrection. Of course, the resurrection is good as well, but that line of thinking implies that the first Good Friday was bad until Sunday rolled around. However, when we celebrate Good Friday, we seem to be saying something else.
In his book about the crucifixion entitled, “The Day the Revolution Began,” N.T. Wright suggests that “by 6:00pm on that first Good Friday, the world was a different place.” In other words, Jesus’ death on the cross changed everything. This means that today is good because we celebrate God’s victory! It is good because it is the day in which God’s love was most revealed to us. 1 John 4:10 says, this is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. And since “God is love” (1 John 4:8 & 16), that means that this was also the day in which God Himself was most fully made known to us. Wait a minute … did you catch that? God was most fully made known on the cross of Good Friday. That means that you can’t find a more complete picture of God than Jesus suffering and dying on the cross! Wow! This is our God. This is how much he loves us.
LIVE THE STORY
Today, take a moment to pause and thank God for the victory of the cross, remembering that it is a victory of the power of love. Ask God to allow the power of his love to overcome all the struggles of your life. Celebrate God’s overwhelming love today! It is a Good day!
By Josh Rose
Pastor of Adults Ministry