Today at work we had a chocolate fountain to enjoy, complete with lots of goodies to dip-strawberries, bananas, graham crackers, pound cake, and of course, plenty of fingers. One of my coworkers jokingly made the comment that it seemed a bit morbid to celebrate Good Friday with a chocolate party. I laughed and agreed, then made the comment “well it all turned out okay in the end, right?”
Isn’t that the truth? By all means, Good Friday should be kind of a terrible day. Jesus suffered and died. That doesn’t seem very good, does it?
But of course, He was resurrected, and three days later we get to celebrate this goodness on Easter Sunday. So, it seems as though the good ending (Jesus rising) makes the beginning good as well.
But what if Jesus hadn’t been resurrected? I still think Good Friday would be good.
I know that seems like a bold statement. But can we remember why He died? He died for you. For me. For our parents. For our grandparents. For our future children. For our terrible, broken, sinning world. Jesus chose to die for us.
I always get chicken skin when I think of this. Imagine being dragged through town, beaten and flogged, nailed on some boards, and slowly dying. Who would you do this for? Probably a few people come to mind. Maybe your kiddos, or your spouse. Maybe a niece or nephew, or a little sibling. Those are all people you love deeply and without conditions.
But Jesus died for strangers. He died for people he had never really met before, for people who had sinned again and again and again. He died without knowing when he would rise. He sacrificed himself and submitted to the will of God.
I find this hard to wrap my head around because half of the time I struggle to sacrifice 30 minutes of extra sleep to do my Bible study in the morning. Doesn’t that seem crazy when it’s compared with Jesus’ sacrifice? He willingly gave up His life and I don’t even want to roll out of bed a little early so I can do my devos. Ugh, Cote.
I am grateful for God’s love and Jesus’ sacrifice every single day. Because of it I am loved and joyful, forgiven and blessed, and headed to eternal life with our Father. But every year on Good Friday I am grateful just a little bit more, when I think of the extreme sacrifice that was made for me and my unworthy self. To me, that makes Good Friday good on its own, even without the promise of the upcoming Sunday.
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”