“Mommy, why do they call it Good Friday when it’s the day Jesus died?”
I’m sure I’m not the only little girl who’s ever asked her mommy that question. I still remember her response in telling me that the “good” was meant for us. That without Jesus dying on the Cross for our sins, there would be no way to save us from them.
While I accepted the simplicity of my mom’s statement those many years ago, the question continued to roll through my mind for many more years’ worth of Good Fridays to come.
Sometimes the simplest answers give birth to the deepest of life’s truths.
Sometimes the deepest of life’s truths take a lifetime to prove their legitimacy.
And sometimes those same questions continue to be asked.
Today I lean toward Calvary’s whispers and once again ponder that long ago question as I wonder why it had to be this way. Why does God demand the outpouring of life and love partnered alongside suffering and blood?
And still I find myself resolving to believe my mom’s simplistic answer. I admit I’ve yet to come to grips with understanding Father’s ways, Oh, I could study the theology behind the meaning of the “blood” or the “fulfillment of the Law” and determine to throw my hat in with any number of theories of religious academia. But I think I’ll just stand by my wise mother’s words and trust that “Good” Friday happened because of me.
And every person on the face of the planet who will accept this amazing gift of grace extended through nail-pierced hands.
Instead of getting caught up in the “whys” of Calvary’s cross, I will content myself to accept its mystery alongside Resurrection’s triumphant shout. The two blend so completely there is no separating them in my heart’s declaration of love anyway.
One cannot stand without the other.
There would be no victory over the grave without the sacrifice of death. Nor would there be hope for death to be conquered without the shattering of sealed tomb.
Both are saturated with a goodness all their own.
Good Friday was for us.
Easter Sunday was for us.
And every moment in between our understanding of the two extremes continues to be for us, too.
May our hearts burn with longing for the One who embraces the intricacies of a love so great as Calvary’s suffering and so powerful as to rip temple veil and conquer earth’s tomb. A love that stretches heavenly hands to sear us upon Father’s heart through the scars of His only son.
Our bad banished for good.
Perhaps that is the real treasure of Good Friday.
So come as you are, dear one. Come again into the shadow of the Cross and allow yourself to be emptied and consumed by its suffering on your behalf, then walk with uplifted head in the light of a deserted tomb declaring your freedom.
And for forever.
And for all those in-between moments when doubts seem to be speaking louder than faith.
He is good, beloved.
And His goodness is for all who will believe.