When Good Friday doesn’t seem so good

For most of my life, Good Friday primarily served as a heads-up for a nice candy-gorge. I glossed over what it really represented, anticipating instead the large egg-hunts with my cousins around my grandparents’ farm on Easter Sunday.

It was only a few years ago that I gained a painful understanding of the true significance of Good Friday. That happened when one of my closest friends from middle school, Erica, died suddenly in a car accident. All throughout late elementary and middle school, Erica and I had been joined at the hip. We attended summer camps together, were pairs for science-class projects, and even had our 15 minutes of fame at a statewide jump rope competition (yes, you read correctly: jump rope).

We communicated less as we went through college and pursued separate ways after graduating, but we never lost our mutual respect and affection. I had planned to contact her after the Easter holiday to reconnect before she moved overseas for missions work.

But in the late night hours of Good Friday, I learned that Erica had died in a car accident while driving home that day. It was inconceivable. In the wake of her death, I was confronted with the reality of how wrong and intrusive death could feel.

Yes, death is wrong. We weren’t designed to experience the sudden separation of death. But because of the Fall of man, death became part and parcel of life. Suddenly, I had a glimpse of the confusion, anger, and sadness that the disciples of Jesus experienced when He died.

But then, I also saw hope. The day I had previously ignored—Good Friday—commemorates two things. One, the torture and wrongful murder of the one who claimed to be the world’s Savior; two, the “good” result His death achieved: a way out of death for us! His resurrection three days later, which we commemorate on Easter Sunday, gives us hope for a lasting solution to death.

Thanks to what was accomplished that first Easter, I could rest in the fact of Erica experiencing paradise right now even as I grieved her unfathomable death and the depth of our earthly separation.

What has been of immense encouragement to me are the words that Jesus gave His disciples in John 16:33 before His crucifixion, which summarize the incomparably low moments of Good Friday and the unsurpassed high of Easter. Jesus told them, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Today, we still experience effects of the fall. The emotions and pain that Jesus’ disciples felt still exist in this life. But even when we experience these extreme lows, we have the truth of Easter to hold on to. Jesus has already overcome the wrong by taking our place on the cross, and, accrediting His righteousness to us, declared, “it is finished” (John 19:30).

Knowing that Erica had fully accepted Jesus as her Savior, I look forward to seeing her again one day. And hey, for old time’s sake, maybe we’ll go ahead and earn another ribbon with our old jump rope routine!

2 replies
  1. Samuel Mwaura
    Samuel Mwaura says:

    A musician asked the qn why do we call it good Friday an innocent man bled and hung to die !!!

    That first Friday nothing went right … Jesus cried and sweat blood saying Father if it is possible pliz let this cup pass from me but if not not my will but yours be done !!!

    A bunch of ruffians came to arrest Jesus like he had planned mass violence against Rome …

    They had Jesus in county lockup part of the night before they took him before ciaphas the high priest the Sadducees the Pharisees and the Sanhedrin for a mock trial where after refusing to answer to the charge of subversion three false witnesses accused him of claims that he would destroy the temple and raise it in three days !!!

    Then they took him before Herod the great where he was further accused for claiming to be the son of God a charge hr did not reply to …

    Then the night mob brought him again before ciaphas where he tore his robe and passed the charge of blasphemy !!!

    Jesus went back to lockup a tired and abused man only to pass through more trials on Friday ….

    Mocking by the Roman soldiers … Whipped 39 times with lead ripped whips ….

    Made to carry his cross up the hill all torn out of breath and bleeding …

    Disrobed thrown down nine inch nails hammered into his wrists and feet ….

    Cross hoisted up and then dropped down in a violent crash into the socket !!!!!

    He hung there beaten black and blue all the passer-by made a sport of him while life blood slowly drained from his veins !!!!

    All am saying is that only when we have a better look backwards and with the eyes of the spirit can we see why an innocent man dying can we understand that it should be me it should be you on that rugged blood soaked cross ….

    John 3:16 is the heart of the message of the Bible …

    For God so loved the world that he gave up his Son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life !!!

    Reply

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