I just got home from Good Friday service. It was excellent. Our church doesn’t have a building and hence, we don’t have Good Friday service. But this year and last, some friends and I have attend a service at another nearby church. I have to admit, albeit selfishly, that it is especially nice for me because I don’t have any work to do or anything to be concerned about. I can just sit and enjoy the service. What a concept! And something sometimes all too unfamiliar.
Anyway, I took the afternoon off today. I had lunch with my peeps from my old job (good to see y’all – missed you, Tomas!), went shoe shopping and then treated myself to a manicure & a pedicure…sandal season, you know. But again I digress from my point…
While I was in the salon the owner’s wife came in with her son, probably around 10 or 11. She said in English that he had asked her why they called it Good Friday when it was the day Jesus died on the cross. A flurry of questions and what I supposed were answers flew from the people working in the salon. Unfortunately, they spoke to him in another language, so I’m not sure what answer they gave. I would have been very interested to know. This was a question I asked as a kid, to a mom who wasn’t a believer. I don’t even remember what her answer was, truthfully. (The other reason for that was her father died suddenly, very young, on a Good Friday – so in the family, Good Friday always had a pall to it anyway).
I understand clearly the question. If you have seen The Passion of the Christ, you can even more understand it. And in the book of Isaiah, it is even worse, saying that Christ was beaten until he was unrecognizeable. He was tortured, scorned and mocked, and then hung on a cross to die a most terrible death. If you have ever heard anyone describe the physiologic effects of being hung on a cross – it is stunning. I believe it is one of the most horrid ways to die. And yet, we call that day Good Friday?
Yes. It was a day that had be prophesied for years and years. If you study the Bible (not just read it cover to cover like a book – you’ll never get through Leviticus if you try it that way, trust me), you cannot help but be amazed about how all that was written came true through Jesus Christ. Even this – the horror of his death. Through his torture, his horrible death on the cross, he was made a sacrifice for us and for our sin. The pastor tonight made an analogy – it was like our sin was written down and God took some “Red Out” and covered up the words/sins and it turned white as snow over them. That doesn’t sound as powerful as I write it and it’s probably a little bit off but I hope that you are getting the point. Jesus’s blood can wash away our sin. How amazing is that?
So in the horror, in the darkness, in all the distress he felt and those who loved him on earth felt…there was truly good.