Over the years I’ve been involved with social media via blogging, etc.; I’ve tried to write something slightly different each year on Good Friday. It gets a little tough to do since there’s not a lot different one can say. As the saying goes. . . “it is what it is!”
Seems a bit flippant to say “it is what it is”. But that’s the truth. Nothing can change the fact that over 2000 years ago, a man gave up his life in the most horrendous way that forever all of mankind would have the opportunity for eternal life. Looking at it down the long tunnel of history it seems ludicrous that anyone in his right mind would do such a thing. Even those of us who believe find it a fact about which to shake our heads and wonder if we’d have the same commitment to others. I know I would think long and hard before saying “yes” to such a cup as the cross. And then I doubt I would have the courage to say yes at all!
I know why we call it “Good Friday”. Because what the Lord accomplished for us on that day was and is “good”. A bit selfish to entitle the day “good” when we had so little to do with its goodness! And when He gave His all!
Several years ago, famed actor-director Mel Gibson produced the “Passion of the Christ”; a very realistic depiction of the last days of Jesus’ earthly life. James Caviezel played the Lord and was told he might never work again because he accepted the role. It’s the most graphic depiction one will find of the horrific events of that day outside the city walls of Jerusalem on a place called “the skull”. It’s a heart wrenching presentation of what Gibson and company believe occurred that Friday which was certainly not good for the Lord, his friends, mother and those who loved him in this life.
But it’s certainly the most realistic. So much so that I cringe when trying to watch it.
Each Easter season, I ask myself the same question – “why” are we insistent on calling it “good”. Yes, I understand the theological reasons. I know that it was PAPA God’s plan all along and that Jesus was obedient even unto death. I understand that intellectually. But I’ll never quite capture it emotionally.
First, I can’t imagine anyone – even the Son of God – willingly going to death for me. Not just any death mind you; but one of the cruelest and most inhumane deaths one can imagine. An agonizing death that sometimes took days to accomplish.
Second I can’t imagine why anyone in their right mind would call the day on which we commemorate His sacrifice “good”. Seems rather selfish and self-centered. Good for me – but certainly not for Him. Actually when I think of the folks, who decided to call this day in history “good”, doing so with a haughty arrogant – almost laughing – attitude.
Did they really not get a glimpse of the horror that was Roman crucifixion? Did it seem like such a lark to them? I would hope they understood the deep spiritual meaning of that day on Golgotha and beat their chests with loud mea culpa’s when they decided to name the day “good”.
Each Easter week on the Friday before Resurrection Sunday; church folks take 3 hours out of the day and attend commemorative services of various types. Some businesses close from noon until 3:00 in honor of the time Jesus hung on the cross. And to let their employees worship as they choose. We bow our heads, listen to the droning of the last words of the Lord from the cross or some other message that seems appropriate for the day. Then we go home . . . and resume life as usual.
If there is any “beauty” or “good” in the Friday before Resurrection Sunday. . . it’s that we can resume life in the knowledge that one man paid a horrible price so we might be reunited to His Father. His Father who becomes our Father once we believe.
Perhaps that’s the only thing that’s truly “good” about Friday!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner & CEO
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P.S. An awesome You Tube interview with Jim Caviezel sharing a great deal about the filming of The Passion of the Christ!