Good Friday is a day where the name just does not seem make sense. As Christians, we mark the day with a recount of what Jesus’s sacrifice and death:
The soldiers took Jesus into the palace … They dressed him up in purple and put a crown plaited from a thornbush on his head. Then they began their mockery: “Bravo, King of the Jews!” They banged on his head with a club, spit on him, and knelt down in mock worship… Then they marched out to nail him to the cross. (Mark 15:16-20, MSG)
We know Jesus was flesh and blood, he felt pain and hurt feelings, just like we do. He even showed us through prayer.
“My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” …“Abba, Father,”[g] he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Mark 14:34-36, NLT)
Yet, despite it all, the perfect sinless man, endured, persecution, abuse, mocking, all to lead up to His death on what we call Good Friday. Why? Because, I am messed up and you are messed up. That hurts.
I can’t help but think, I don’t deserve… I certainly don’t deserve the sacrifice Jesus made for me. To be perfectly honest, I feel guilty that Jesus had to die, and often wonder, would I actually pay the price for someone else’s sin. I like to say I would, but confronted with it, how would I act?
Thus, Good Friday to me, is a day mixed with emotional turmoil. As I ponder feelings of inadequacy, I imagine Jesus carrying His cross down the dusty street, blood dripping from his head, beaten beyond recognition. I imagine, His humble acceptance of the will placed on His life. I imagine, each nail banging His hands and feet to the cross. I imagine, Mary watching her son die. And, just when emotions hit their maximum overload,
With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from the top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said. ‘Surely this man was the Son of God’” (Mark 15:37-39)
Can you imagine the high priest’s surprise when the veil was torn, and he didn’t die? Just like that, the separation between God and man was dissolved. Just like that my emotional turmoil becomes joyous. The prophesy fulfilled.
Out of that terrible travail of soul,
he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it.
Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant,
will make many “righteous ones,”
as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Therefore I’ll reward him extravagantly—
the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch,
because he embraced the company of the lowest.
He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,
he took up the cause of all the black sheep. (Isaiah 53:11-12, MSG)
And the joy of salvation is real. The celebration of Good Friday is real. I am left with the overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude.
Good Friday, is really a Good day! Easter is right around the corner, and Jesus is alive!
Who else feels the same about Good Friday?