Today is Good Friday, a holiday I never really thought about growing up. We never got it off from school or had any special activity at church, so it was never more than a passing thought. I just thought that is was a part of the Catholic calendar that I need not pay attention to, kind of like Ash Wednesday. Easter, however, was a rather big to-do with Easter baskets, chocolate bunnies, Easter dresses, and Easter eggs.
I’ve since come to realize the importance of Good Friday. Without Christ’s death, there is no resurrection. Yes, Christ’s resurrection is something worth celebrating (without which we have no hope – 1 Corinthians 15), but in a rather more somber way Good Friday deserves celebrating, too.
On this day we remember the work that Christ did on our behalf. Because you and I have sinned against an infinite, holy God, we are worthy of eternal punishment. That’s the just reward for our actions. No amount of good works can counteract the wretchedness that we are.
Yet God did not leave us there. Instead of requiring of us what we cannot do, He did it for us. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live a sinless life and to die. Since He did not sin, His death wasn’t deserved or necessary. He chose to die that we might live (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Our Savior died not because of His sins (since He didn’t have any), but because of ours. Good Friday is somber not because He died (after all, He comes back to life!), but it’s because of our sins that He suffered so.
Understanding Good Friday gives proper perspective to Resurrection Sunday, Easter. It allows us to remember why it is a holiday!
While God did the work of salvation on our behalf, He forces it on no one. He offers it up as a gift, one that you and I can choose to take. This changes everything for the one who accepts this gift. As a Reliant K song says, “The beauty of grace is that it makes life unfair.” Instead of being rightfully cursed, we are unjustifiably blessed!
If you are a Christian, I challenge you to spend some time thinking on the Cross today, maybe reading Isaiah 53 or one of the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion (such as Matthew 27:11-61). If you aren’t a Christian, but are curious about what Good Friday is all about, I would suggest that you check those passages out as well.
If you have any questions about what I’ve said or would like to discuss this, please leave a comment or email me. I know that I might not have been as clear as I would have liked.
Happy Good Friday to all!