How many of us while growing up looked forward to Friday? I know I did. I would complete each Friday by saying, “Thank goodness it’s Friday!” I was so glad another week of school was over. The weekend was beckoning me and I was ready for FUN. Mondays were just not as joyful. Fridays; sometimes they were really good for me.
One particular Friday in human history has been called “Good Friday.” If we didn’t know better we might conclude some really exciting event happened on that Friday. We might decide it is so called because a happy event happened. I doubt many of us, if any of us, would call the day a loved one died as a good day. It is, rather, a day of sorrow, mourning and pain. Good? I don’t think so.
Can anyone imagine calling “good” a day on which they were beaten, rejected, and died? Our enemies might call that day “good.” But, if we had a chance I doubt that is what we would call it. Yet, the day on which Jesus Christ died for lost sinners, paying the penalty of death and separation from HIs Father, we call it good. So, for whom is this day good?
To be exchanged for a murdering, thieving, rebel isn’t good. To die for his crimes wouldn’t be good. To be spit upon by a crowd of hecklers wouldn’t be good. To see your friends deny they know you wouldn’t be good. To have one you considered a close friend betray you to killers wouldn’t be good. To be nailed to a wooden cross to die a slow excruciating death would not be good. So, why do we call it good?
It was good because Jesus willingly followed His Father’s will. It is good because He obeyed His Father in the face of death. It is good because His Father had already declared that Jesus was “His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased.” It was good because even though the perpetrators didn’t know it, they were part of God’s plan. It was good because so many prophecies from the Old Testament were fulfilled that Friday. It was good because this one Lamb would provide redemption for so many. It might not have been so good for Jesus, but it was GREAT for us.
Today you need to stop to reflect upon the events of that day. You and I need to contemplate how horrible it must have been, how painful and how humiliating it must have been. Take time to consider the Gospel chapters that tell the story. Meditate upon Hebrews 12:1-3. Think about what the writer means when he says, “..endured…despising…shame…hostility…” Go back to reread the passages that relate Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Ask yourself, where would I be if I was part of the story? Would you do better than they did? Would run and hide or stand up? Would any of us be Judas? Do we secretly posses a heart of stone? What would come out of our mouth? What?
But, as the now famous saying goes, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’.”
Good Friday? Not so much for Jesus, but so much for us. Don’t finish today without taking some time to give thanks to your Saviour for providing you with redemption.