Eugene Cho

How could it possibly be a “Good” Friday?

pa009086

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

Today matters.
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.

Isaiah 53

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.

——————————–
Additional posts for the Resurrection season:

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22 Responses

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by revheath: Great post by @EugeneCho on what Good Friday is all about: http://bit.ly/cYTpLQ

  2. Doug Ranck says:

    I love that in Lenten tradition this was called “God’s Friday.” He is sovereign!!

    • I like that. I don’t have a traditional church experience that included Lent or Good Friday…except we did do the last seven words…seven sermons (full-length) in one night.

      God’s Friday. I like that a lot.

  3. thank you for the reminder…

  4. Greg says:

    Just heard a comment on the radio this morning that “good” in Good Friday is an archaic word for “holy”. That makes more sense…

  5. robyn says:

    thank you.
    i have been trying al week to put this into proper words.

    mine ended up messy.

    twice.

    thank you.
    appreciated.

  6. […] to start (even if it’s as simple as this video). especially as we are in the midst of “dark friday“, this song rushed back all the wonderful memories vivien + i experienced when we sung this […]

  7. Jason says:

    I like the term Dark Friday, never heard it put that way before. Makes much more sense.

  8. Andy M says:

    While I don’t know the history of the title, “Good” seems most appropriate to me. It is an ugly truth that our salvation required the death of Jesus, and nothing that we say or do can change that. To gloss it over is to do it an injustice and to do damage to Jesus. But Jesus’ act was good, what happened on that day was good. In one day, Jesus reversed death and set the entire creation on the path to be made new and whole again.

    That was a Good day.

  9. […] appreciate the struggle to call this dark day “good.” I understand where some churches are coming from when they show (often graphic) videos depicting […]

  10. Kayce says:

    Amen! Amen! Amen!

  11. Brian LePort says:

    Eugene,

    Thanks for the reminder that ‘Good Friday’ should be a bit ugly, a bit disturbing, and something we should embrace.

  12. […] founder of the excellent extreme poverty-fighting non-profit, One Day’s Wages, encourages us not to skip ahead to Easter Sunday too quickly. We need to stay in the uncomfortable dark a while […]

  13. myyellowbike says:

    Just notifying you, tragically last Thursday, a young Korean girl died in an accident on her bicycle at the University of Minnesota.

    Kimberly Yeong Sil Hull http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/120549294.html

    There was another article too, I can’t find.

    She was adopted at 5 months. She also grew up some in Santa Fe New Mexico and Switzerland.

    She would have turned 26 years old tomorrow, Tuesday. I don’t know what one can say when a life is taken from someone so young.

    It sounds like, sad as it sounds, a truck, dump truck in fact in the morning hours collided with each other, basically the truck turning over into her lane cutting off her right of way. The poor poor girl.

    Just as my avatar is a yellow bike, I do bike frequently and these tragedies happen to often. I am always very very cautious when I am around any traffic. I’m sure she felt comfortable. I’ve been a few times around the U up there. I will walk my bike if there is a lot of traffic around.

  14. myyellowbike says:

    I use to ride up to the U, you know, the same way, someone has obviously followed me to this site, the Chinese use to bully me at the U, then one day, I rode up to the U of Minnesota on my bike on the road from Fort Snelling and what did I see?? A handful of Monks cloaked in orange or saffron gowns, “Na Mo Amito Fo”, but these guys, I’m rather sure, they were Tibetan Buddhist Monks. And then, it put it all into perspective for me. The Chinese Government oppresses Tibetans, those Chinese women would hassle me. Now I know some girl, Kieran, don’t know how it is spelled, not sure what nationality that name could be but she is from Far East Asia, one of those countries.

    Pahoua Vang, is a dear in St. Paul, I have always adored. But so young, but she still is grand and I am the Original Gran Torino! Well, maybe …. well, some similarities.

    Eugene talks about turning 40, life for me did not start in some ways, until I worked with the Hmong, in a middle school where the majority of kids are Hmong.

    And if from Bloomington Minnesota, I ride towards the Mall of America and then East to St. Paul, the Hmong still like me and meet me. During the Summer, they’d start going to the park where I go during the summer, Fort Snelling near the airport, right before you go to St. Paul. St. Paul is great, I don’t care for Minneapolis at all but the rest of the area is nice.

    Bless the Hmong, Bless Pahuoua, Bless this poor girl Audrey Hull http://www.mndaily.com/2011/04/25/audrey-hull-free-spirit-%E2%80%9Cwho-lived-moment%E2%80%9D

  15. […] how could it possibly be a “good” friday? (eugenecho.com) […]

  16. You might like to meditate on that subject with a short slow motion movie that I did inspired by Good Friday, a poem about the darkness that surround us.
    “Dance the darkness”

  17. Josh says:

    Reblogged this on Soli Deo Gloria and commented:
    Good thoughts on Dark/Holy/Good Friday from Eugene Cho!

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 2 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 2 days ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 2 days ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 5 days ago
  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 6 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 6 days ago