When we step back and look at Resurrection Week, there are a lot of things that don’t make sense. But here’s one we’ve probably all wondered about–Good Friday. What a strange name for such a dark day.
If you’re not familiar with this holiday, Good Friday is the day when people all over the world observe and consider the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. It’s three days before resurrection Sunday, when we celebrate his resurrection from the dead.
Good Friday considers all of the ugly, brutal, and cruel aspects of the crucifixion. Jesus was literally stripped naked, beaten to a pulp , and nailed to a cross. There was no more painful or humiliating way to die.
So why use the word “good” to describe something so awful?
This day is a remembrance of the most tragic event in all of human history. It was the day that God came to save us, and the day we killed him. We use that simple word “good,” because in the midst of that horror, God’s most amazing work was at play.
At that time, criminals died on crosses every day. It was a common death penalty in the Roman Empire. However, Jesus wasn’t a criminal. He didn’t do anything wrong. He didn’t die because he was guilty, he died because of his deep love for us. That love extends to every person throughout human history.
The Bible is a long story about how humans separate themselves from God and how God who makes away for us to be together again. Jesus’ finished work on the cross, was the ultimate way to bring us back into relationship with God. It wasn’t just a good idea, it was the only way.
The people who lived through Good Friday certainly wouldn’t have called it good. When it happened, it felt like the furthest thing from good. God’s goodness was only realized three days later.
When the disciples ran to the empty tomb, and Jesus wasn’t there. When they learned that Jesus was alive, they learned what we know to be true: that our God can bring good out of humanity’s darkest day.
When he died and rose again, Jesus defeated humanity’s two greatest enemies: sin and death. All that kept us away from God was conquered, trampled beneath the feet of our victorious Savior.
This is why, 2000 years later, we look back and we call humanity’s darkest day “good.” We can only call it that because we know what’s coming–resurrection Sunday.
Wherever you are this weekend , whatever you’ve got going, I want to encourage you to go to church. We are called to be the church 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But Easter is the day when the family of God gathers to remember what Jesus has done! It’s the day we celebrate the redemption of humanity through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If you’re in the Portland/Vancouver area, come visit us at Crossroads Community Church!
Our Easter Sunday services are at 8:00 AM, 9:30 AM, and 11:30 AM.
If you’re not local to this area, you can join us for our Easter service online here!
Our Online Easter Sunday services are at 8:00 AM, 9:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:30 PM, 6:00 PM, and 7:30 PM.
Wherever you worship this weekend , remember the Lord’s great love for you. The work that he finished on the cross is finished , and brothers and sisters, it is so, so good!