Why is Good Friday good?

When I was little I can remember being perplexed by the day Jesus died on the cross as being deemed “good”.  My Jesus, my Savior was beaten, battered and nailed to a cross of wood with thorns driven into his head.  He was mocked and betrayed and murdered…what was “good” about that?  In my little mind I thought… “Can’t we can think of another name for this day?”

Since I became a “grown up” I have always tried to attend a Good Friday service.  In recent years it’s been a little more tough having get babysitters so we can attend our Holy Week services.  Last night was our Maundy Thursday service where there was a foot washing ceremony and communion.  And tonight is our Good Friday service starting in the gymnasium where we will follow the cross into the sanctuary.  I wouldn’t want to miss it.  I want to be reminded, even though we go every year, of what Jesus did for me.  Tell me the old, old story again…I don’t want to forget!  No matter how many times I hear it the Lord always shows me something a little bit different.

I’ve talked to a lot of people this week who have not watched The Passion of the Christ because they don’t want to see the horror of it.  I feel the exact opposite.  While I’ve only watched it once and for a long time I thought that was enough, I feel differently now.  I want to see it again to be made more aware of what Jesus went through…how he immensely suffered.  I want to at least try to understand just how much He endured and yes, how horrific it was.  He wasn’t just a man who was killed because people didn’t like him…He is God and He took my place, He took your place and we all deserve to be tortured that way…but He didn’t.  I’ve heard the questions posed this week…what held Him there?  Would you take His place?  Both great questions to ponder on this Good Friday.

We were doing devotions one night this week and reading scripture from Mark 14 when Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray.  He said the words in verse 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”.  Nathan explained to Emalynn and Maxwell that Jesus knew what was going to happen to him and he was so sad because He didn’t want to have to die.  He asked each of them if they would be willing to give up all of their toys…every single one for other children who don’t have any.  Emalynn thought and slowly shook her head yes.  Maxwell thought and said “Welllll…except my remote control McQueen.  I’ll keep just one.”  But that isn’t what Jesus did…He gave it all.

While I thought I understood what Jesus did for me when I was so young I couldn’t comprehend the weight of it.  It wasn’t until years later I remembered that question I asked when I was so young and took a moment to reflect on why Good Friday is in fact good and what really took place the day Jesus died.  God is so good for giving us His son to take our place.  Jesus is to be glorified for being willing to leave heaven and come to earth and choosing to die for us.  The good part of Good Friday for me is that I don’t have to suffer the consequences of my sins in eternal separation from God…because Jesus paid the price.  We sang an old hymn last night that summed it up perfectly…

  1. There is a fountain filled with blood,
    Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
    And sinners plunged beneath that flood
    Lose all their guilty stains.
  2. The dying thief rejoiced to see
    That fountain in His day;
    And there have I, though vile as he,
    Washed all my sins away.
  3. Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
    Shall never lose its pow’r,
    Till all the ransomed church of God
    Are safe, to sin no more.
  4. E’er since by faith I saw the stream
    Thy flowing wounds supply,
    Redeeming love has been my theme,
    And shall be till I die.
  5. When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue
    Lies silent in the grave,
    Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
    I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save.

Emalynn just came up to my computer as I was working on this post and she said “Mama…that says ‘Why is Good Friday good’.”  I asked her why she thought Good Friday is good.  She said “Because Jesus died on the cross for our sins.   We all sin!  It was sad that He died but he rose again for us!  And that’s good mom!”  She understands that there is nothing that is more good than that…nothing at all.  Have a wonderful GOOD Friday reflecting on that the Lord has done for us!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2

I found this video I thought I’d share set to one of my favorite songs and a very powerful illustration of Jesus death on the cross.

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.  Luke 23:44-46

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