Friday, March 25, 2016
What's So Good About Good Friday?
At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" (which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
When some of those standing near heard this, they said, "Listen, he's calling Elijah."
Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down," he said.
With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, "Surely this man was the Son of God!"
What's so good about Good Friday? This is a question I have pondered in my heart over the years. After all, this is the day Jesus, our Lord and Savior, suffered an excruciatingly painful and ignominious death on a cross. Shouldn't we be calling Good Friday the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Friday?
Fr. Justin Holcomb offers some insight as to why this holy day is called "good:"
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 for us. No, wait! Grand and glorious for us!
Because of Jesus' willingness to follow His Father's plan, we are forgiven our sins, once and for all. And we can look forward to the impending Easter celebration with hope and joy, and the promise of a renewed relationship with our Father in heaven.
But for today, let us all sit at the foot of the cross. Let us become Mary and the disciple whom Jesus loved, who witnessed His immeasurable suffering.
Let us be present for our Lord as He gives His all for us.
Let us weep and mourn and pray.
And let us give thanks.
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