The entire week leading up to it is a good time to reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus. As much as I love the celebration — yet loathe the flamboyant suits and hats in church — of Easter, I cherish Good Friday.
Historically, that was the bad day. That was when Jesus and His followers took the loss. It was a dark day in Jerusalem 33 A.D.
When I watch movies like Passion of the Christ, it’s heartbreaking seeing the crucifixion. Even though I know what will happen Sunday, I still am hurt by my Lord taking the beating on Good Friday.
But regardless of how it looked then, that Friday was good.
The term “Good” in the title denotes pious or holy. Yet the day is good in our common English sense of the word too.
Interestingly, by definition “good” means “approved of” or “having the qualities required of a particular role.” When we think about it that is so fitting for Good Friday. As horrible as that day seemed, it was “approved of” by God. And Jesus had “the qualities required of the particular role” of enduring the cross for our sins to establish the New Covenant.
Another definition of good is “a benefit to someone.” How great of a benefit was Good Friday to us?
So Good Friday is appropriately named.
Beyond that, Good Friday reminds me of what can come from a seemingly horrible situation. In 33 A.D., there was nothing good about that day. It sucked. Peter and all the other disciples who scattered were scared and confused. Mary, Jesus’ mother, and Mary Magdalene were in unimaginable pain and grief. They would have never thought, in the middle of the chaos and horror, that that day could ever be considered good.
But it is.
Regardless of what it looked like to everyone around, God knew that the end result would be good. And in hindsight, we see how good it was. We realize how it was to our benefit.
I can look back at my life and recall some days, moments and seasons that were dark. When I was in the middle of them, I couldn’t possibly see what good could come from it.
But the same God who turned the execution of His Son into the greatest miracle ever, also turned my worst experiences into my greatest areas of growth and maturity.
Can I look back on my trials and call them good? Well, by the aforementioned definitions, yes. Obviously I had the qualities required to endure those times. And now, I can see how they benefited me.
That’s not to say our trials don’t sting. It’s not to say we should welcome them. There is no pleasure or desire in suffering. But there is growth. There is a benefit to them.
So if you are in the middle of a trying, painful and frustrating situation and you see no light, remember that thousands of years ago there was a dark and depressing day in Jerusalem that we now call Good. One day, you’ll be able to say the same about your dark day.