Friday, April 18, 2014

What's So Good About Good Friday?

“What’s so good about Good Friday?” After just presiding at two funerals over the last week I doubt the families would call the day they bury their loved ones ‘good.’ So why is the church’s biggest funeral of the year — for Jesus — called good?” Some people think ‘Good Friday’ evolved from ‘God’s Friday,’ just like ‘goodbye’ evolved from ‘God be with you.’ 
According to Rev. Ross Lockhart of the West Vancouver United Church, The ‘goodness’ of Jesus’ grappling with sin and death on the cross is vitally important because without His ultimate sacrifice, there would be no salvation for us. As I've heard before, "He paid a debt He did not owe. I owed a debt I could not pay." Hebrews 9:22 declares, "...and without shedding of blood is no remission." The power of shed blood is a truth also understood by our Jewish friends who are celebrating Passover and the spreading of blood on the doorposts so the angel of death would pass over the first born of Israel.  As a Christian, I praise Jesus for the blood that He shed for our sins. 
The good in Good Friday lies in what God has done for us. But that’s only half of it. Jesus said to Nicodemus, ‘You have to be born again; you have to be born of the water and the Spirit.’ The goodness of Good Friday is only complete when we experience not just what God has done for us, but what God has done in us through the new birth of the Holy Spirit.

This day is good, too, because, though it is linked to death, it is also linked to life--resurrection life. The celebration of Easter is right around the corner! See, death was not the end; it was actually the beginning. Jesus embraced death to defeat death. He sacrificed life to offer life.
But He is not to be alone in this. When we give our lives over to Christ, which we call dying to self, then we begin to truly live. Galatians 2:20 puts it like this: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." That is indeed good news!

Have a Good Friday as we look forward to a Great Easter!
Your pastor and partner in ministry,

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