Tomorrow is “Good Friday.” I always found the “good” part a bit ironic, considering the fact that we’re basically commemorating the illegal conviction, torture and murder of the only perfect Man to ever walk the earth (Jesus).
According to an article on http://www.christianity.com, “in German…the day is called Karfreitag, or ‘Sorrowful Friday.'” (http://www.christianity.com/god/jesus-christ/what-s-so-good-about-good-friday.html). That seems more appropriate, don’t you think? It’s more a day of sorrows than joy, although I understand why it is also “good.” We had to have the ugly, dark, murderous Friday, so our sins could be forgiven by the blood Jesus shed on Calvary.
“Good” Friday, i.e. “sorrow, grief, torture and murder,” also had to happen so Jesus could rise again, allowing us the privilege of the resurrection on Easter Sunday. For believers in Christ, we all have a glorious resurrection day of our own, although we have to suffer our own sorrows, grief and terrors before we get there.
But as Jesus made it through His darkest hours, so will we Never doubt that.
The fact is, out of all the religions in the world, ours is the only one with a risen Savior. What amazing, life-changing news! But to display the power glory of the resurrection, Jesus had to go through Hell on Earth.
I’m not just referring to His crucifixion; I’m also talking about all the misery, grief and sorrow He lived through before that “good” Friday. During His lifetime His father died, He was mocked incessantly by many, He was basically homeless during His entire ministry (Luke 9:58), He was bitterly betrayed by one of those closest to Him, and possibly worst of all, He witnessed first-hand those who willingly chose to reject His love.
For example, here is an incident in Luke 19:41-44 where Jesus wept over Jerusalem: “But as they (Jesus and the disciples) came closer to Jerusalem and he saw the city ahead, he began to cry. ‘Eternal peace was within your reach and you turned it down,’ he wept, ‘and now it is too late. Your enemies will pile up earth against your walls and encircle you and close in on you, and crush you to the ground, and your children within you; your enemies will not leave one stone upon another—for you have rejected the opportunity God offered you.'”
Yes, Jesus was a Man well-acquainted with sorrow and grief, as the verses below illustrate.
I thought perhaps you needed a reminder that our God is intimately familiar with pain, sorrow, grief and death. Never doubt this fact: you are not alone. You are never alone.
“We despised him and rejected him—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we didn’t care. Yet it was our grief he bore, our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, for his own sins! But he was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed—and we were healed! We—every one of us—have strayed away like sheep! We, who left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet God laid on him the guilt and sins of every one of us!
He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he never said a word. He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he stood silent before the ones condemning him. From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people of that day realized it was their sins that he was dying for—that he was suffering their punishment? He was buried like a criminal, but in a rich man’s grave; but he had done no wrong and had never spoken an evil word. (Isaiah 53:3-9).”
Turn to Jesus in your darkest hour, for He had many dark hours Himself, and He cares so deeply for you. He was brutalized and massacred so you can have eternal life with Him.
It may be Friday, but as one of my favorite songs by the Christian artist Carmen says, “Sunday’s on the way.” To lighten the mood a bit, here’s a funny, animated video of the song:
One comment on “From Wretched Friday To Resurrection Sunday”
Everything you say here is right on. I read it through. It was moving and helpful. And I would not take anything away from it.
There is, though, yet another dimension to the crucifixion.
The crucifixion is not just the ugly part before the good stuff. It is not just the dark part. It is not just the part when Jesus takes away all of our sins and sets us free. It is all of that… and… more.
The crucifixion is a paradox. It is all that hard truth plus…
In the synoptic gospels, Jesus opens his ministry with a sermon where he preaches people should repent and believe the good news. And the reason why is because – THE KINGDOM of God is at hand. And then all four canonical gospels reach their high point with this crucifixion – which to all the world looks like just one more execution of a prisoner, and to all of Christian followers as the execution of an innocent man – that is exactly the way Luke describes it. But the OTHER dimension to it is that he gets a crown, a robe, a scepter and a ceremony.
Here in America, we don’t have coronations. That is a ceremony for kings – when they first get their crown. We have a stripped down version where we swear in a president for a term of four years. But nations led by royals get this coronation thing – a ceremony that often only happens once in a life time. I figure when Queen Elisabeth dies, us Americans will watch one over the shoulders of the English, since their royalty gets a lot of our attention and affection. And if you look closely at the crucifixion of Jesus, he has all the basic elements of this ceremony. Roman soldiers even bow down to him!
The thing about Jesus’s crucifixion is that he comes to show us what it looks like when God comes to be crowned King of his subjects. This is how you coronate God! And it is so utterly backward from what you would expect, but it is all there if you look closely. And that is the OTHER dimension which then gets its validation/vindication Sunday morning.
I hope that helps. I hope you can see it too. It is quite moving to be a subject of this King. He loves his subjects so much he will even be crowned by their contempt.
Blessing on your Easter weekend!