The Good News of Good Friday
For a long time, before I really understood my faith, I thought it strange that we call Good Friday good, when we know it leads to Jesus' incredible suffering and the ultimate sacrifice. Some Christian traditions do recognize this day as something other than “good.” In German, for example, the day is called Karfreitag, or “Sorrowful Friday.” There are also some who believe “Good Friday” actually developed from an older name, “God’s Friday.” Regardless of what we call that fateful day, as Christians we know that Jesus' death on the cross, the most momentous event in history, earned us forgiveness and life eternal. Indeed, that is good news!
As we approach the celebration of Easter, we have asked our authors, bloggers and readers to share a few words about what Holy Week means to them:
“When I hear the story of Christ’s death on the cross during the Easter season, I’m reminded of the sacrifice He made so that I can enjoy intimacy with a holy God. I love to celebrate by saying, 'He is risen indeed!' on Easter morning and remember that the story doesn’t end at the cross, but at an empty tomb! It was an Easter Sunday more than 30 years ago when I first understood this gospel message and made a public decision to follow Jesus, so Easter represents a spiritual birthday for me.”—Melissa Spoelstra, author of Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World
“Easter reminds me of the power of living out of wonderment rather than out of doubt. Our God is a god who takes us beyond our common sense, beyond our doubt and fear, to a place of delight and wonder. Easter reminds me that when I live out of that place of wonderment, I receive a strength and joy that sustains me regardless of what Good Fridays I may be going through.” —Kimberly Dunnam Reisman, author of The Christ-Centered Woman: Finding Balance in a World of Extremes and Knowing God
“Jesus has risen and He's alive forever more!” —Stella Davis
“The fresheness and colors of Easter splash such joyful reminders all over my heart. Because of the cross, His bloodshed and the empty tomb. . . I can celebrate not just one weekend during the year—but every single day I live!”—Cindi Wood, author and ministry leader, www.frazzledfemale.com
“Every religious tradition is rooted in mysteries I don't pretend to understand, including claims about what happens after we die. But this I know for sure: as long as we're alive, choosing resurrection is always worth the risk.”—Parker Palmer, contributed by Rev. Rebecca Irwin-Diehl
“We were dead until our savior Jesus died for our sins...we were reborn as children of God...Amen!” —Carroll Camargo
“Good Friday was always a special day for us growing up. It was a day of repentance and thankfulness for Jesus’ sacrifice. We would always stop and pray around 3:00 as it would cloud up even on the most beautiful of days. Jesus dying on the cross for us to live. In a weird way, it is a birthday for each of us. We are born again without sin and full of God's grace because of Jesus' ultimate sacrifice.” —Karen Hirt
“‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ (Matthew 27:46) Jesus’ desperate cry resonates with me on Good Friday. If truth be told, I silently ask God that same question more often than I would like to admit. I know deep down that God has never forsaken me, just as Jesus knew that day, but I sometimes feel abandoned and alone. The Good News is that we are never forsaken even in our darkest hour. I just need to write that on my heart. God is with us, Alleluia!” —Leigh Devine
“Through Him we have forgiveness.” —Linda Bowman
This is God's amazing promise—death shall be no more. No more sickness, no more sorrow, no more pain nor loss. It was borne on the cross. “It is finished,” He cried. “Holiness satisfied.” It was done on the cross. Now there is no condemnation, nothing left to fear. Instead there is an invitation, “All are welcome here.” At the foot of the cross. —from “Celebration of the Revelation,” a song by Renee Erickson
“Though I know Easter deserves as much—if not more—of my attention than Christmas...it just doesn't get it. Easter is when I put out a few decorations, suffer through the coloring of eggs and make sure everyone has shoes that fit for Easter Sunday. But Easter is the holiday God doesn't let me forget. He forces nature open with a breath of springtime, and I have no choice but to marvel at the resurrection of the landscape and the breathtaking mercy of new life. It's almost as if He turns my stubborn head away from my so-important to-do list and says ‘Look. Look at what I can do with the flowers of the field and the birds in the air...let me do this for you. Let me shake off the effects of a cold, dreary season and use the remnants of it to fertilize your soil to bring forth beauty. Let me encourage you and remind you that you are a new creation and you can thrive when you walk in my light. Let me share with you the beauty of all I have created.’”―Kim Graham
ALLELUIA, AMEN! EASTER BLESSINGS TO YOU AND YOURS.