Holy Week Day 6: Good Friday

Free Holy Week Bible reading guide and daily reflections from Leslie Ann Jones.

(download your free reading guide here)

Suggested Readings: Psalm 22:1-18Luke 22:66-71, and Luke 23:1-56

On Good Friday, the Jewish leaders, with the help of Pilate, subjected Jesus to a shoddy trial that resulted in a death sentence for the one who would be called the King of the Jews. He was hastily crucified and quickly buried before the Sabbath began that evening.

It's a contradiction, really, to speak of Good Friday as good. It is, after all, the day that Jesus died, and we don't generally think of death as a good thing. When's the last time you heard someone jumping for joy after a loved one died? Probably never. When someone dies, our first thoughts aren't usually, "Good! I'm so glad!"

Sometimes I think we Christians brush over Jesus' death. When it comes to Easter, we sing songs about the resurrection and proclaim gladly, "Up from the Grave He Arose!" because that's what happened. That's the end of the story. But in order for the resurrection to be possible, first the death had to occur.

Those of us who believe know that Jesus was both fully God and fully human, but the confounding thing about this story is that on Good Friday, he dies. It's the last thing we expect to happen. The most shocking thing about the story. That God Almighty, the immortal, unchangeable, king of creation, all-powerful, unchanging Lord could actually die.

And yet, in the span of a few hours one Friday morning, he laid all of that aside and breathed his last. For me. For you. For all of us.

His death was necessary to cancel out everything that is ugly and evil and wrong in this world. And that is exactly what he did. He canceled it all out. In that moment, finally, justice was served.

And that is why Good Friday is so good. Because on that day, God offered himself as the perfect sacrifice, the only sacrifice that would do. And it is by that sacrifice that we are healed. That we are purified. That we are able to draw near to God.

And that, sweet friends, is a good thing.

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