I’ve always thought the name “Good Friday” was a bit odd. What’s good about Jesus getting brutally tortured and murdered? It seems like the opposite of good. Some people might argue that we call it Good Friday because of what happens on Easter Sunday—the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But I think we tend to rush through the reality of what happened on Good Friday. I’d like to encourage us to stick with Good Friday for a bit. You can’t have light without darkness. You can’t have resurrection without death.
3 Good Things about Good Friday
I heard a sermon awhile back in which the pastor talked about 3 key things that he found good about Good Friday. I’d like to share them with you, and see what you think.
- It’s good to grieve. Life isn’t always happy. Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. There is another part of life that is just as real, and it involves grief, struggle, and lament. When Jesus was dying on the cross, he said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This was a cry of lament about what was happening to him. Jesus grieved, and it was important. It’s also important for us to grieve when painful things happen in our lives. Don’t rush through your grief. Give your grief the time and space it needs.
- God is with us in our grief. The Bible says that when Jesus died, the curtain that covered the Holiest of Holies in the temple split right down the middle. The Holiest of Holies is where the Jewish people believed that God resided. One interpretation of this passage has to do with the Jewish tradition of tearing your clothes as an expression of grief. In other words, the tearing of the curtain in the temple can be thought of as God tearing his clothes in grief when Jesus is killed. In a similar way, God is with us in our grief. We are not alone in our pain.
- There is hope for resurrection. You can’t fully understand Good Friday without Easter Sunday. They are two sides of the same coin—death and resurrection, light and darkness. In a similar way, when we are struggling with death and grief in our own lives, there is hope for resurrection and new life. There is hope that God will hear our cries, answer our prayers, and intervene in a powerful way.
What do you think is “good” about Good Friday? Spend some time this Good Friday sitting with your grief and sadness. Don’t move on too quickly from it. Know that God is with you in your grief. And finally, don’t lose hope for resurrection and new life.