Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday

When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"(Mark 15:39)

Why do we call Good Friday 'good'?

That was the question one of the students in my CCD class asked me last week. And it was a very good question.

I agree that it does not seem like a very good day. Look at what we commemorate on Good Friday: Jesus going before Pilate and Herod; being mocked and ridiculed; deserted by his followers; beaten; condemned to die; crucified; and finally dying a horrific and ignoble death.

It is a sad day; a day we commemorate sad events.

So, why is it good?

It certainly wasn't good to Jesus' followers who were living through it on that day. They probably thought it was the worst day of their lives. I'd hazard a guess that Jesus himself didn't care too much for that particular day.

But what Jesus did for us that day is what makes the day good. He took all our sins upon himself. He became our sacrificial lamb. He did these things, so we don't have to. And, for us, ultimately, that is good.

It wasn't good that day. It was good later. Because without Good Friday, we wouldn't have Easter. And Easter gives us the promise of everlasting life in God. And that is Good.

When looking for something that summed it all up, all I could think of was the centurion's remarks.

For out of it all; that is what is important.

Truly this man was the Son of God.

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