I didn’t grow up acknowledging or “celebrating” Good Friday. I knew Good Friday was a thing, it just wasn’t THE thing for me. Easter Sunday was the BIG DAY. As a kid, it was the day of jelly beans and dyed eggs. As I got older and the church became important to me, I became an Easter Bunny denier and focused on the resurrection of Christ. Today, I’ve come back to Good Friday as a vitally important part of the story. I’ve also made my peace with the bunny. We are good now.
If I am being really transparent, I never really connected with the empty tomb. Theologically, I understand its power and value. However, as a person viewing a storyline, and as someone who sees the world in a very logical way, the resurrection is hard to grasp. If we could all be honest for a second, I think many of us would agree, the resurrection is less relatable than the manger and even less relatable than the cross.
My slice of the religious spectrum places a tremendous premium on the resurrection moment, and for some reason, deemphasizes the crucifixion. However, I have grown, over the years, to see the crucifixion as the most important part of the story. Still, the crucifixion is incomplete without the resurrection. We can’t get to Sunday without going through Friday.
The crucifixion is the greatest act of sacrificial love the world has ever known. Good Friday is the personification of God’s intense love for His creation. As Jesus willingly placed himself on the cross he answered, once and for all, the most important question ever asked. YES, the God of the universe LOVES YOU. Not a good version of you. Not the holy version of you. Not the “at least I am not as bad as so-and-so” version of you. Just you. All of you.
That is what Good Friday is all about. God telling you, “I love you very much”.
Jesus suffered an intense and painful death. It was ugly and brutal. But it was necessary.
If you’ve never read the story, take a look at how the physician Luke describes it in his gospel:
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
He did that for you. Once and for all. How will you respond?
If you would like some resources as your family remembers Good Friday, please check out these below: