And it is good.
By Collin Haddock
Good Friday. Two words that fit together often in our modern, on-the-go society. Everyone always seems to “live for the weekend.” Fridays are the typical end of long work weeks, and the start of a break, no matter how small. Even our television schedules can revolve around Friday (TGIF, anyone?) Good Fridays shouldn’t be all that rare, right? The truth of the matter is that of all good Fridays, the one we call “good Friday” isn’t all that great, when looking at everything that occurred from a strictly human lens. Jesus was crucified on this day. Crucifixion was not a quick or easy means of execution and was specifically designed to be horrible. The entire process was painful and humiliating. Not only was one beaten and then nailed to a wooden cross, it was also public. You were not just put to death; you were put to death in front of everyone, and you died a death reserved by the Romans for the lowly and the worst. This is the death the Son of God died. Good Friday was a day of pain and agony. As Christians, this is the day we remember the death of Jesus on the Cross.
In light of all this, Good Friday is good. Why is it good? Why is the death of Jesus a good thing? When looking at it from the outside in, this being good is “foolishness,” writes Paul in 1st Corinthians 1:18. We’re not mourning, we are instead remembering. This, looking with purely human eyes, looks foolish. However, from the inside, we see why it is good. As Christians, this is the day we remember the death of Jesus on the Cross. This is also the weekend where we celebrate the fact that Jesus walked out of His tomb. This Good Friday precedes the Resurrection. This Resurrection leads to our current and ever standing hope. Good Friday does not lead to the sorrow of loss but leads to the joy of return. It is good because, despite all the pain, despair, hopelessness, and chaos that happened on this day, there is repair, joy, hope, and rest in the Resurrection. Good Friday is not the end, but the beginning of the promised “something new” found in Isaiah 43:19. Good Friday is not the final crescendo, but instead the start of the suite. Good Friday points to the fulfillment of the promise of the something new that God intertwined all through out the Old and New Testaments. This is a hope of repair and restoration of the way things were meant to be, the restoration that we sing about every Christmas, a restoration of “God and sinner reconciled.”
Good Friday was a day that was filled with pain, agony, anguish, and despair. The disciples felt it, those who knew Jesus felt it, Jesus felt it. There were hours of torment and suffering, but from that torment and suffering sprung forth mercy and grace. From those wounds, we are healed, from the stripes that marked Jesus’s back, we are given new life. Good Friday is not the end, no, it is the beginning.
And it is a good beginning, because we as Christians know the end of the story. The tomb does not stay empty, the despair fades into astonishment, the sorrow fades into joy, the hopelessness fades into hope. There is peace, repair, and restoration bursting from every seam.
And it is good.