Why Good Friday is Good
A friend asked me recently, “why is it called Good Friday?”
Immediately my mind started racing with all the reasons, all the ways that I could answer.
I could tell of the hundreds of prophecies that were fulfilled in one day. I wanted to go into a deep and thorough explanation about why Christians celebrate Good Friday, and how Easter means nothing without the darkness that fell the Friday before.
Because really Easter is the day that we celebrate the Risen Savior. It is a day of rejoicing and victory over death. It is a day of miracles and joy and the overwhelming Hope that we now have.
But the truth is that while death was conquered on Sunday – Friday was the day Jesus was consumed with thoughts about us.
I told her:
When Jesus sat with His disciples for His final Passover meal, and the communion tradition was started, He was doing it for you.
When He walked into the garden up in the hills outside of the city, His prayers were for you.
When Jesus dropped to His knees in the garden, His spirit in anguish over what was yet to happen, He was thinking about you.
As the sweat dripped from his brow, His inner turmoil was over you.
When He relinquished His will, and told His Father, “Your will be done,”it was your face He pictured.
When Judas kissed him with lips of betrayal, He was focused on you.
While He was beaten, spit on, cursed at and flogged
With His flesh ripped open
It was for your heart that He endured.
When He knew that His friends had denied Him and run away,
When He carried His cross under a bruised and beaten body,
When He looked out at the crowds that mocked and shouted,
He saw your face.
With thorns shoved deep into His skin,
When the nails pierced His hands,
With His mouth dried, out of thirst,
It was your need for saving that kept Him there.
While He hung, condemned to die,
While He laid in the tomb, forgotten and alone,
When He stood up, alive and whole
It was all for you.
Because He has always wanted you. Not just a prayer, an attendance record, or a half-hearted life given to “religious” meetings and duty.
But your whole heart, your mind, your spirit. Your entire life.
His life He gave. Willingly. In exchange for your place.
Because He knew that without that sacrifice, that offering, that gift,
You could never be with Him.
And that was more agonizing than all the pain and suffering He endured.
I tried to explain this to my friend, whose tears were now flowing like rivers down her cheeks.
She didn’t understand all of my words.
And to be honest,
Neither did I.
It doesn’t make sense.
It’s why we call it ‘Grace’
It’s why we have Hope.
And it’s why this Friday is called GOOD.