“Yeah, tomorrow is Good Friday because you get a break from school,” our six-year-old daughter quips.
“No, sweetie, that’s not why we call it Good Friday. We call it Good Friday because that’s the day Jesus took our punishment by dying on the cross and paying for our sins,” I explain.
“Oh, that’s the day Jesus died? That’s sad.” She grows solemn. And we talk about it then, right there at the supper table, we talk about how He knew the suffering He would endure, yet He obeyed the Father anyways.
I think of them, His followers, the disciples, and how that day must have seemed anything but good to them. I think of the fear they must have experienced, the sorrow, the confusion. I wonder if they felt hopeless and helpless.
That’s what we humans do when the skies around us grow dark and suffering multiplies – we despair.
It’s our first response to most difficult situations. Like the disciples, we fail to look ahead, for we only see the present, the now.
Yet on Good Friday we call the darkest day of their lives “good” because we can see now what they could not then. We have the broader perspective, the bigger picture. We understand that the pain, the suffering, the darkness and death that day brought were the beginnings of a bigger and brighter glory than any soul had ever known before!
But the death came first, before new life.
Isn’t it the same even now? We must die to self in order to live for Him. And it’s scary and dark and painful, but it’s oh-so-necessary. When we find ourselves on the other side, we can look back and call it “good.”
“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” Jn 10:9-11
And on the other side of the cross painted red, we who believe can call that darkest, death-filled day Good Friday because…
with one fell swoop, one simple yet agonizing act of obedience, sin and death were defeated once and for all!
So that we might know Him!
It is Finished.
I’m joining the Five Minute Friday crew this week! We all gather at Kate Motaung’s place and free-write for five crazy minutes – no planning, no editing, no stressing. Come join us if you like!
Also sharing with: Grace and Truth