Friday, March 25, 2016

What's So Good About Good Friday?


Mark 15:33-39
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.

Amen.

20 comments:

  1. Wonderful outlook Martha. I have always related today good by recalling....the conversation that Jesus had when He ask those in attendance..."why do you call me good, there is none thats good." But in that day, Jesus made all things well, the ultimate good and faithful servant. Resurrected into new life, seated by the Father. And we see the face of God, He will extend those beautiful words. "My good and faithful servant." Thanks for sharing this well written piece. God bless you and your family always.

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    1. Thank you, Shira, for your too-kind words here. Yes, we must pass through Christ's suffering before the glory of Easter can be fully celebrated and appreciated. Our Redeemer lives! Thanks be to God!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Martha, thank you for sharing such a wonderful message. I love the cartoon you shared too. It's so to the point and a great explanation! I hope your Easter is filled with great joy.

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    1. Thank you, Sherri! I do hope you and yours have a marvelous Easter, too.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Martha, Thank you for sharing this message. As my pastor has stated, Good Friday is only good because of Resurrection Sunday. While this day is solemn, sad--that all gives way to great joy come Sunday!

    Happy Easter!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Kim, the great joy awaits, and we will stand in Jesus' resurrected presence with shouts of "Alleluia!"
      Happy Easter to you!
      Love and blessings right back at you!

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  5. beautiful reflection. Don't you just love BC? Thank for for this wisdom and have a blessed Easter.

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    1. Yes, BC is the best! Glad you enjoyed this reflection, Jean.
      Love and blessings!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Thank you Martha for this message and explanation. It's a message that we need to hear every day of the year, not just today. Happy Easter to you and your family.

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    1. Yes, Vishnu, we do need to hear it and reflect upon Jesus' sacrifice all year round.
      Love and blessings and Happy Easter!

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  8. Hi Martha! It is a 'good' day, but one that is filled with sadness too. Lent and Easter are filled with opposite feelings for me. Sadness and joy, both mixed together. But now that Easter is with us, joy is complete.
    Hope your Easter was filled with 'alleluia'!
    Ceil

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    1. I feel the same way as you do about Lent and Easter, Ceil. But I realize, we can't have the joy of resurrection without first enduring the suffering of Jesus.
      Yes, my Easter was filled with alleluias, and I hope yours was, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  9. I miss B.C. cartoons!

    I loved what you wrote about the background of Good Friday. Yes, it was a terrible day at the time, but for the glory that came on Resurrection Day - well, it was all worth it! What love it took to accomplish our salvation. I am eternally grateful.

    GOD BLESS!

    (It occurs to me that it might be called Bad Friday now by the enemy of our souls?!)

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    1. I miss B. C., too, Sharon! Used to be one of my favorites, and I was ecstatic to see a friend post this cartoon on Facebook as it fit this blog, which I had already drafted, perfectly.
      And, yes, the glory of Easter is upon us, and I'm breathing out "alleluias" once again. Lent sure seemed loooong this year for some reason.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
    2. I miss B. C., too, Sharon! Used to be one of my favorites, and I was ecstatic to see a friend post this cartoon on Facebook as it fit this blog, which I had already drafted, perfectly.
      And, yes, the glory of Easter is upon us, and I'm breathing out "alleluias" once again. Lent sure seemed loooong this year for some reason.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  10. Beautifully said! Puts it all in perspective. Thanks Martha. :)

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