Our Darkest Day
To try to make sense out of why Good Friday is called Good Friday is difficult. When you research the origin regarding “Good” as a precursor, you come up with a wide range of opinions and etymological facts. What makes the most sense is that in old English dictionary terms, good meant holy, therefore being Holy or Good Friday.
Others tend to go with the understanding that it was good because of what we gained from it, not what happened on it. Because Christ died on the cross as the ultimate act of love (by laying his life down for us), we no longer have to pay the penalty for our sins. Therefore, his crucifixion was good. This makes no sense to me. It would be something a pump salesman might say during a flood, “it’s bad for the homeowners but great for me”.
But there you have it. Good Friday is the day that Christians recognize Christ dying on the cross just outside Jerusalem at Golgatha. Thursday evening Christ was arrested, Friday he was beaten, tried (though he was not guilty), then crucified on a cross.
In reality it is the saddest day in the history of humankind. It is the day that God hung on a cross.
Were you there?
Luke 23:26, 32-42
26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[c] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Taize Hymn: Jesus Remember Me
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[e] When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Are you there?
Part of being a follower of Jesus is to be present through all of his life, not just his birth and resurrection. Those are the pretty parts, the warm and fuzzy parts, the Santa and the Easter bunny parts. All the parts in between, that’s the Jesus part. That’s the meat and potatoes part.
You can’t have Easter without Good Friday. You can’t have the resurrection without the crucifixion.
Were you there? I was.
Closing Hymn: Where You There?