Why do we call it Good Friday when a man who had committed no sin, no wrong doing of any kind, was tortured beyond comprehension and then subjected to excruciating public death by crucifixion? What could possibly be good about that?
My simplest explanation is this. Good Friday is the day Good overcame the curse of evil.
God the Father took an event of horror, an utter travesty of justice, carried out against an act of incomprehensible submission and obedience, and then transformed that horror into a Beauty and Glory beyond all measure that will never perish or fade away.
On this day, God broke the curse over us, which is Death itself.
Because one Man who owed no debt of sin at all submitted to God the Father even to death, justice was fulfilled. In a single agonizing act of sacrifice, the payment for all our sin was made. He did on behalf of each of us what we could never do for ourselves or anyone else. Yeshua, Son of God, gave His life so that we who believe on His name might have Life with Him forever. God redeemed the absolute worst possible outcome of our worst possible actions with His own supremely best actions. His own act of unconquerable and unalterable love made possible a Good for us that could never have been ours, apart from this act. That is astonishingly Good news!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3.16-17
Echoing Augustine from centuries earlier, C.S. Lewis said this so simply in Mere Christianity:
“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.”
May you know this day that His name saves and your Good Friday be rooted in hope. Yes, death has its sting now, but its grip is broken. It no longer has the final, bitter word. Already the power of Life is washing through the universe, washing immortality into those who believe and receive it. This is our hope and this is our Joy. The Son of God Who died for us, lives! Because He lives, all that is bitter and wrong will be undone and remade right. His Day is swift approaching. Let us be found awake and ready for Him, living out our lives with joy and good cheer, doing the work of this day with courage and hope, cultivating for His kingdom right where we are, rejoicing!
The featured image is courtesy of Lancia E. Smith and used with her glad permission for Cultivating and The Cultivating Project.
Lancia E. Smith is an author, photographer, teacher, and business owner. A grateful lover of the Triune God, Lancia is the Founder & Executive Director of Cultivating & The Cultivating Project. She has served in executive management, church leadership, boards, and Art & Faith organizations over 30 years. She & her husband Peter have parented 7 children, & have a flock of beloved grandchildren. Lancia loves garden and website design, beautiful typography, road trips, being read aloud to by Peter, & cherishes every book she ever read by C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and George MacDonald.