All around the Christian world today people will observe what is commonly known as “Good Friday”. Though we are not explicitly told in Scripture on which day He was crucified, this is the traditional day set aside to commemorate the crucifixion of Christ. Christians observe this Holy day in a variety of ways that may include fasting, prayer and somber services that reflect on the suffering of Christ. Each of these has merit and each seems to communicate a proper attitude of reflection, sorrow and seriousness; all of which might make one ask, “Why in the world do we call this ‘Good Friday’?”
It certainly cannot be a description of the events that took place on that day. After all, nothing is good about greed, betrayal, treachery, disloyalty and illegal trials. There is no good to be found in the mockery, abuse, violence, thievery, beatings, torture, blasphemy and murder that Christ endured. There is a conspicuous absence of good in the pain, grief, abandonment, and spiritual and emotional agony of Christ as He experienced the wrath of God against all sin. We could never call any of this good.
So, why do we call it Good Friday? We can only consider this day good by taking a step back and looking at the big picture. It is not in the events of the day that we find goodness, but in its significance. Though many of the events themselves are evil, much good comes from this dark day. Let me offer briefly some thoughts as to what qualifies this day as good. We consider it good because…
- It is the apex of God’s redemptive plan. Though not the sole element, it is the major and representative event in bringing about our salvation.
- It represents God’s great love for us. The great agony and suffering of Christ, though horrifying, just go to show the extent of His great love for us.
- It purchased our forgiveness. Though it was our sin that placed him on that cross, we can look back at that day as the moment those sins were dealt with once and for all.
- It secured God’s victory. Though it seemed like a defeat, on that day Christ struck the first blow in the battle that would culminate in His final victory and has made us more than conquerors in Him.
- It made life possible. This one, horrifying, terrible death made life possible for all who would believe.
As you go about your day to today, consider these reasons why this day is indeed good. As you reflect on the pain and suffering of our precious Lord, do not forget that it was all out of love for you. Join me in spirit today as we consider all of the bad that took place on that dark day so many years ago, yet with humble heart embrace and celebrate the good that it has accomplished.