Why do they call itGood Friday?
It must have been a pretty bad day. All the disciples in confusion. Jesus, their leader, dead. Could they have been wrong believing in Him? Mother Mary, surviving an extraordinary life, has lost her son. For Mary Magdalene and all Jesus friends and supporters it must have been a terrible day. In the bible story it was literally the death of their Way, their church, their hope.
It sure didn’t look like a Good Friday in the story.
Maybe tragic Friday. Betrayed by a close friend. Dealt a mortal injury. The government and all the powers of the land against him. Even God had forsaken him. No one left was given any help, hope, or explanation.
But time passed. In the bible story after three days Jesus came back in spirit and brought more hope, more believers, more help, and more understanding than a mortal Jesus ever could have. After three years the disciples turned apostles spread their teachings farther than ever imagined. After 300 years Christianity became the religion of the entire Roman world. Now, after more than 2,000 years the stories of the bible bring hope, help and a sense of understanding to hundreds of millions of people.
It’s only in looking back that the worst day ever – the darkest day in history for Christians – is Friday understood as good.
We’ve all had this experience; the days that are the darkest, the days that hold us back, stop us on our path; the days we must deal with the details of death; the days when terrible secrets are revealed and pain comes; days we expect the world to stop turning and that nothing good will ever happen again – that there will never be anything beautiful again. These days lead us to our destiny.
It hurts so much when we are done wrong, betrayed, brokenhearted, spoke against, unforgiven, left and lost . But these are the dark days that define the beginning not the end. These are the days that define our destiny. It’s up to us to push on – to see the light ahead.
Where would Christianity be without Jesus betrayal, without his mortal wound, without the government and people against him, without his death, without his troubles? Where would the world be?
It’s up to us to push on through our troubles; to wait for the light of future hopes to return when things go dark. That’s the point of the bible story; that’s the point of Good Friday. Three days changed everything. Time changes everything.
It may be Painful Friday in your life right now, but Sunday is coming.
Through terrible teaching of life’s lessons you learn that the things you thought you needed you can live without.
Bitterness, pity, mediocrity, and sorrow will tell you it’s a terrible Friday when you’ve been betrayed, when you’ve lost, when you’ve been fired, stricken, or talked down; when you’ve had violence done to you. But time will tell. Time will reveal another destiny, another purpose, another hope.
It may not seem good. But with the fullness of understanding that comes over time we will look back on all these bad things in our lives and say… it was a Good Friday.
In the TV business, in the writing business, and certainly in the news, we learn early that problems drive stories, complications make us rise to the challenges. Good times rarely push people to try, harder, to do more, to reach out, to expand their understanding, to pay attention to other possibilities. Only troubles do that. Our enemies do more to promote us, to help us, to make us stronger than they will ever know. Without them; without the critics, cheaters, backstabbers, whisperers, and bullies we wander, we atrophy, we lose our way, we become weak in mind and spirit. If we had only friends and supporters, if we are sheltered, coddled, and protected, we would live as mindless, heartless, soulless shadows. Our humanity, our history, and our future, is forged in the fire of trouble. We need the detractors, the demons, the troublemakers, and the unbelievers. We need their sparks and violent flame to light our fiery path.
However, dark, sad, and terrible it is, Friday is good because it means Sunday is coming.
The Grünewald Crucifixion
Writing about life, citizenship, and Nova Scotia.