What Is So Good About Good Friday?

Today is the Friday before Easter, a day that has been traditionally known as Good Friday.  It is a day in which Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and the events that transpired at Calvary.  The death of Jesus on the cross was the most monumental event in redemptive history, for it was then that God’s plan of salvation was fully realized.  This message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those of us who are being saved it is the power of God.  Thus, this day is a “good” day, even though it meant the death of the Son of God.  Christian author and leader Justin Holcombe correctly writes:

“Still, why call the day of Jesus’ death “Good Friday” instead of “Bad Friday” or something similar? Some Christian traditions do take this approach: in German, for example, the day is called Karfreitag, or “Sorrowful Friday.” In English, in fact, the origin of the term “Good” is debated: some believe it developed from an older name, “God’s Friday.” Regardless of the origin, the name Good Friday is entirely appropriate because the suffering and death of Jesus, as terrible as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save his people from their sins.”

Good Friday is good when you consider the bad condition of man who is lost in his sin.  Good Friday shows us how God has acted in mercy and grace to rescue us from our hopeless and helpless condition.  When we were without strength, in due time, Christ died for us.  He took our place on the cross so that we can take His place as sons and daughters of God.  He is our Great High Priest and Mediator who has opened the way of access for us into the Holy of Holies.  Those who trust Christ can now come boldly before the throne of grace to find mercy and grace to help in time of need.  What a Savior!

Above all, Good Friday is good because Easter Sunday soon follows.  Had the cross been the end of Jesus, the good news would not be very good at all.  The gospel is the good news that Jesus died and rose again.  Had Christ not been raised, we would still be lost in our sins and life would be meaningless.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the lynchpin of our faith.  It was His resurrection from the dead that vindicated His suffering on the cross.  Good Friday is only good because it shows us how our God is good and glorious and worthy of worship.  Holcombe says, “Paradoxically, the day that seemed to be the greatest triumph of evil was actually the deathblow in God’s gloriously good plan to redeem the world from bondage.”

With all the global persecution that is taking place against Christians, Good Friday ought to remind us that even the Son of God Himself was persecuted by the world.  Yet despite the fact, the truth of His death and life and second coming remains.  It stares the world in the face and puts the world in a corner.  Though the nations rage and spurn His sacrifice, they will soon meet Him face to face.  Good Friday means that we go forward with the gospel and make disciples of the nations, even in the face of persecution and hardship.  This Jesus who suffered for sins and rose again is returning to earth, and every knee will bow and every tongue will one day confess that He is Lord!  The prayer and constant expectation of the church ought to be, “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”  Yes, it is Friday, but Sunday is coming.

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