Goodness (A Good Friday Blog)

Why is it called Good Friday if Jesus suffered and was crucified?

“Good” in this sense can also mean “Holy”, which is why you may also hear it as “Holy Friday”. And goodness in Greek, agathosune, can be defined as an uprightness of heart and life (for the benefit of others). So when we think of today and all that happens, we see that Jesus lived a life and died a death that shows this kind of holiness in action.

We could not have Easter without Good Friday (because death is needed before resurrection) and, likewise, we could not have Good Friday without Easter (because His story doesn’t end with tragedy). So when we take a step back and look at this day as a whole, we see the significance and necessity – that Jesus, with the love of God, was sent to the earth in order to take our sins to the cross, suffer, and die. We could take James 1:17 quite literally when it says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” Jesus Christ was the perfect gift and the perfect sign of love.

All the way to His death, Jesus was humble and obedient. He exemplified this holiness, this goodness, this agathosune, for all to see. He was selfless. And as we prepare ourselves to be the same, especially today, we look to the cross where Jesus died for our sins. In fact, 1 John 2:2 says that as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, Jesus died for the sins of the whole world!

So even though Easter Sunday (Resurrection Sunday) is right around the corner, let’s pause for a moment today to contemplate the cross. Jesus, the perfecter of faith, endured the cross and scorned its shame (Hebrews 12:2). It’s a suffering and death we deserve but He bears it all for us, even descending into hell before raising up from the dead.

What an amazing sacrifice made for us today! It always amazes me when I think about the meaningfulness and symbolism of this day. And even though it would be easy to see today in terms of tragedy, suffering, death, and all-around horribleness, we know that leading up to Resurrection Sunday it really is a Good Friday.

Reflection Song: Here I Stand


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Jesus Saves

There’s an old joke where Jesus and Satan have an epic debate and try to settle the matter with an essay, where God would be the judge. Jesus and Satan got on their computers and began typing with all they had in order to finish on time… but just as time was up, there was a power surge. God then decided that Jesus had won. Upset, Satan asked, “How can that be when the power loss erased both our work?”, failing to see that Jesus’ work remained intact. God announced, “Jesus saves!”

Not too long ago, my trusty USB flash drive malfunctioned (which, to this day, I have no idea of how it happened). It’s fine – I bought a replacement and now I know to be careful with the files that I save on it. But it got me thinking… We put so much of our trust in things that fail all the time, no matter what kind warranty or return policy it has. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. This means if we are for sin, then the only outcome is death; death is the end-result of sin. But because of Jesus Christ, God granted us eternal life and our sins were washed white. There’s no need to worry when it comes to the faithfulness of God!

Today is exactly one month following Easter, and still we’re reminded of Jesus and the life He gives. Often times we fall short and lean on something that’s bound to fall, when we ought to be trusting and leaning on Jesus’ name. Let’s not take for granted the precious blood that Jesus spilled for us to display the free gift of grace by God. Whenever you experience something breaking or life feels like it’s collapsing around you, remember that Jesus saves and one day Satan will ultimately be defeated!

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours! (1 Chronicles 29:11)

Reflection Song: Nothing But The Blood