Good Friday: A day to prepare for the celebration of Christ’s rebirth
Good Friday. The second in a trilogy of holy days making up Easter Week, (Psalm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter itself) the purpose of Good Friday is lost on many.
Lost in the sea of confusion and politically charged rhetoric is the Easter message itself
Intended to bring people together, rather than apart, and to make people feel forgiven, rather than fear that their civil liberties are about to perish if they tend to glance at a cross upon a hill.
Sadly, some who object to Christianity do not understand this meaning. If they did, they would realize that the purpose of the gospel is neither to force doctrine nor encourage blind faith. Better comprehension would mean less objection to Christian words and symbols even for those who personally do not share the belief.
The feelings associated with the Son of God are supposed to be good, which returns us to the question we began with: What exactly was good about Good Friday? It sure wasn’t a good Friday for the disillusioned followers of Jesus.
They wanted a king, somebody who would push the tyrannical Romans off their conquered land, not a disappointing impostor who was going to allow himself to be executed by the most shameful, painful torture that the world had ever known.
Naturally, they cheered up on Sunday
You know the rest of the story. And to some, it’s just that; a story. Many do not believe in the Easter Sunday Sequel, in which we celebrate Christ rising from the dead to join God at his side. But Easter Sunday’s impact on the subsequent two thousand years of history cannot be denied. Face facts: Something unusual must have happened, unusual enough even for non-Christian historians and teachers of the time to acknowledge the trial, death, miracles, and (in some cases) even the resurrection of Jesus (Josephus, Tacitus, Talmud).
Consider that this common man from a poor family, a simple carpenter who never fought a war, never ruled as king, never encouraged a violent revolution, and never wrote a book, influenced the world so much that we even count the calendar differently.
Even people who do not believe in Jesus use his name constantly to the exclusion of other religious figures. When is the last time you heard somebody accidentally catch his finger in the door and cry out, “Krishna!”?
Yes, something happened on that first “Easter Sunday.”
But back to Good Friday. What seemed like an unforeseen tragedy turned out to be the very plan of God. Jesus did not fail in His mission by dying on the cross, He intended from the beginning to die on the cross. He did this as a way of paying for the selfish deeds and selfish natures of humankind.
The message of Christianity is Love, mercy and forgiveness.
What Christianity is NOT aboutis Judgment and condemnation.
This is not to say God won’t judge the world someday or that we will not answer to Him in the next life.
It is instead a reminder that the whole idea behind the cross and the sacrifice of Jesus
That message is that God sent us a savior who wanted to spare us the judgment we deserve by taking it upon Himself.
Nothing you have done; no word, no action, no thought, can separate you from the forgiveness of God,. But only if you will let Him forgive you. Yes, we must also repent. But so many have refused to change their torn lives only because they thought God wanted nothing to do with them.
How unfortunate that people listen to the gospel and somehow hear the opposite of its message.
They think Christians are yelling at them about not being good enough for God or insisting on imposing religious conformation. Sometimes the communication breakdown springs from the damaged, wounded, discouraged soul who thinks he/she is at a point of no return.
The message of Jesus is that we are all in the same boat, all selfish (or sinful as the Bible calls it). We are not people who have earned favor with God. We are people who gave up and threw ourselves at the mercy of the court, hoping for a pardon, while the judge himself pays our fine.
As I once heard it put; “A true Christian is just one beggar telling another beggar where the bread is.”
That, according to the New Testament, is what Jesus had to accomplish on the cross before He could rise from the dead. And that is why Good Friday is good after all.
NOTE: A brief portion of this article was inspired by the anonymous poem in Public Domain, One Solitary Life.
Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and columnist. Details of his show can be found at www.bobsiegel.net. Comments to posts are discussed by Bob over the air where anyone is free to call in and respond/debate. Call in toll free number: 1-888-344-1170. Read more Forbidden Table Talk in The Washington Times Communities.