What’s good about Good Friday?
One of the many profound surprises of Christian faith is that, what can seem like impossible circumstances can turn out to be rich blessings.
The most significant event in human history is one of those seeming catastrophes. It took place starting on Good Friday.
Think about the disciples that day. It wasn’t as if Jesus had left them clueless. He told them He was the Messiah. Healing the lame, giving sight to the blind, even raising the dead, clearly demonstrated His power over creation and human life itself. Jesus was God on earth in human form.
All this, and He also told them He would die and then rise again. The disciples brushed these warnings aside because none of it lined up with their expectations. The long-awaited Messiah was their Jesus. Wasn’t everything going to roll out now in a glorious and predictable way?
Jesus told His disciples the cross was coming and that one of them would betray Him. But it didn’t line up with their vision so they simply ignored the storm clouds. When Jesus was nailed to the cross and died that Friday afternoon, their world came crashing down-- or so it seemed.
If only they had believed exactly what He told them. It was only later that they processed the whole message, when the tomb was empty on Sunday morning and He appeared to them afterward in His fully restored human body. The puzzle pieces began to fall into place and of course, later, Gospel writers Matthew and John would record that they had been told all this ahead of time.
Our hearts are often heavy with what we see around us today in America, even while there are Christian churches on nearly every corner. Where is the proclamation of hope? Of life and promise, even in the storm?
Our problems are sometimes those we bring on ourselves. And often, the solutions are available if we would learn from history and follow the Lord’s teachings. He has told us how to live, what our priorities should be, and yet we ignore Him until a crisis unfolds.
“How could this be happening?” we cry out. Sometimes the catastrophe is the result of sin, ours or someone else’s. Sometimes, though, there’s no clear- cut reason. Why does God allow disease, heartbreak, storms, floods, the death of a loved one?
There are usually no easy answers, but it does not mean God doesn’t exist or doesn’t care. No, we know from the cross that appearance and reality are not always the same. What seems like disaster is often something God will use for unbelievable blessing and to reveal His glory.
What’s good about Good Friday? Our sins are paid in full, praise God. And the darkness of Friday afternoon will be swallowed up by the glory of the risen Lord on Sunday.
Praise His name in every season. Happy Easter.