Good Friday. Huh?
Why is it “good?” How could it possibly be good?
- In a culture that is ever so quick to get to the product
- In a culture that is ever so quick to avoid suffering and pain and seek ways to medicate ourselves to avoid pain
- In a culture that is ever so quick to jump to the bunnies and eggs
- In a culture that is ever so quick to commercialize, capitalize, and consumerize
- In a culture that is ever so quick to jump to the good news of Easter Sunday and Resurrection
- In a culture that is ever so quick to minimize the extent of Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion
- In a culture that is ever so quick to sanitize and ‘disneyize’ the events of the brutal death of a man
- In a culture that is ever so quick to grab hold of grace as if we are entitled to it
Dark Friday matters.
His death matters.
There is no Resurrection Sunday without Crucifixion Friday.
So, let’s not be so quick to bypass this day. There’s a reason why in the Christian tradition – this day and service is considered the longest and darkest day of the year.
Let it be long.
Let it be dark.
Let it be silent.
Let it be uncomfortable.
Death is always uncomfortable – especially when we’re complicit in this death.
While the good news of our beauty are clearly exemplified in the glorious news of the Resurrection…the depths of our darkness and depravity are also exposed in the last days of Jesus’ life and crucifixion.
And once we understand, if even for a glimpse, the depths of our depravity and brokenness, the amazing depth of God’s grace and mercy is that much more understood and experienced. We understand that our broken image can be restored by the Creator of that original beauty.
Thank you, Jesus, for this day.
For Dark Friday.
For Holy Friday.
For the cross, sacrifice, and atonement.
Thank you, Jesus, for your life.
Thank you God that you have redeemed this day to be good.
Who believes what we’ve heard and seen? Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?
The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him.
He was beaten, he was tortured,
but he didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
and like a sheep being sheared,
he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he’d never hurt a soul
or said one word that wasn’t true.
Still, it’s what God had in mind all along,
to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him.
- What would we do if we only had one week to live? Jesus borrowed a donkey, washed dirty feet, and got crucified.
- On door prizes, pony rides, and gazillion eggs for Easter when the Gospel ought to be enough.