Through the lens of history, we can confidently call Good Friday “good”.
But have you ever thought about what Good Friday felt like to Jesus’ closest followers?
If I were one of the disciples, I would have certainly felt confused, broken, naive, ashamed, lost, anxious, devastated, abandoned…. these are just a few of the words that come to mind. Was their faith lost? Did they still believe after their Messiah’s violent death on a cross?
In our minds, those three days would be agonizing, but that’s through the lens of history. To them, Jesus’ death was permanent.
Have you ever felt like the disciples? Have you ever lost your faith during a dark, confusing time in your life? Did it seem permanent? Let’s be real, I think we have all felt like this at least one time in our lives, even if we call ourselves Christians.
But isn’t this what Good Friday symbolizes for us today?
Do you think that by design, Christ allowed his closest followers and family members to question their faith for those three days? The disciples, and even Christ’s enemies, expected him to escape death on the cross. However, they didn’t expect him to die and be resurrected in three days. That is extravagantly more miraculous than escaping death. And that unexpected, unimaginable extravagance is exactly how Christ wants to work in our lives, too.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3
The thought of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection seems so crazy to our modern world. And that’s just it – it WAS crazy, and it had to be to make such an enormous impact. But because of Christ’s sacrifice, his relentless love and grace for us, we have hope. We do not have to be held hostage by fear, anxiety, anger, shame, and regret – Christ paved THE WAY for us to live a life of forgiveness and true freedom. Through his grace, he can teach us how to love others the way he loved us.
Redemption. I can’t help but think that it is a story written on each of our hearts. All of humanity, no matter their background, innately rallies behind a good redemption story. (Think about what happened just this week: Tiger Woods’ Master’s comeback and Notre Dame cathedral’s future plans.) You simply don’t have to live in those dark, “proverbial 3 days” forever. Sometimes the darkness exists just so you can experience it’s beautiful juxtaposition against the light…against life…that is, a NEW life in Christ.
This is what makes Good Friday so good: the vast comparison between darkness and light…between condemnation and grace…between DEATH and LIFE. Even in those seemingly-permanently-dark-days, we have the benefit of knowing that Easter is coming.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17
Happy Easter, friend.