What’s so good about Good Friday?

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Why is Good Friday called Good Friday?

Okay, yes–It is good because, as professed believers, our debts were paid in full by Jesus Christ’s sacrifice.

But I’m talking about the actual day. Is it contradictory for us to say that the day Jesus was beaten, berated, spat upon and nailed to a cross was a good day? And let’s not forget his betrayal at the hands of Judas, his denial by Peter, his loyal followers turning bloodthirsty, religious leaders with their false charges and political leaders refusing to take a stand on either side of the issue of His guilt or innocence. On this day, Jesus stood betrayed and abandoned, even by those who were closest to him. It seems just about everyone around him played a role in fate. Is it any wonder, being fully God and yet fully human, he would ask that “this cup be taken” from him? How could this day possibly be good?

In an column written for The Seattle Post in April, 1991, Anthony B. Robinson writes:

Why is Good Friday called “Good?” Perhaps because on that day, and in this story, God stands with the forsaken, the victims, the abandoned and the despised. More than that, God is one of them, is one of us. In our hearts, our deepest fear may be just this, that we shall be forsaken, abandoned, despised and rejected. And sometimes these fears lead us to do terrible things.

Surely at times in life many, if not all of us, will know just such an experience. Whether because we stand alone for an unpopular truth or have been forsaken by a family member or friend in whom we trusted, or because we find ourselves on a sick bed able only to look up at the world from our backs or wheelchairs. In this story, God takes the side of the outcast. He is put to death “outside the gates of the city,” a symbol of his very forsakenness. But, of course, if God is among the forsaken and rejected, then they, then we, are never wholly abandoned, never truly forsaken. Which may be reason enough for calling this Friday “good.”

In the end, “Good Friday” is like so many of the great spiritual truths. It is a paradox. A contradiction that just happens to be true. Like “You shall find yourself by losing yourself.” Or “Less is more.” Or “The only way to have enough is to learn to give it away.” These things, these paradoxes are never things we can wholly grasp. But sometimes they take hold of us. And when they do, nothing is the same ever again.


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10 Responses to “What’s so good about Good Friday?”

  1. Cassandra Frear April 2, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    >Good Friday to you!

  2. JML April 2, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    >Aren't you so glad that we have a God who can relate to us? The fact that He's been undeservingly counted among the condemned in the most horrible way and made it through.

    He did it for us!

    Happy Good Friday!

  3. JML April 2, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    >BTW, if you like Good Friday, you might also like Pegasus Friday. . . according to the little links below the post.

    Only on Hey Look, a Chicken!

  4. jasonS April 2, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    >Great post and quote. There's lots of great reflection happening today all over the place…


  5. Maureen April 2, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    >And. . . the farthest away you may be, the nearest you are to Him.

    Blessings, Kathy. May peace be with you.

  6. Sandra Heska King April 2, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    >A paradox, indeed. Thanks for this.

  7. ♥ Kathy April 2, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    >Happy Easter Kathy

  8. Kringle April 2, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    >I am so glad I stopped by today.. thanks for your powerful post and a "Good Friday" to you.

  9. Anahid April 2, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    >I was just wondering about why it's called "Good Friday" then I saw your post. I guess as the quote said, it's a paradox & we can never wholly grasp it.

  10. Bridget Chumbley April 3, 2010 at 2:34 am #

    >Happy Good Friday and Easter blessings to you and your family, Kathy.

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