What is so good about Good Friday?

Jesus was crucified on Friday. Good Friday is the day we remember Jesus’ death.

So, what is so good about Good Friday? It almost seems sick to call Good Friday good. If you have a loved one that died you do not celebrate the anniversary of that persons death as good, it was tragic. Why then when referring to the anniversary of Jesus’ death do we call it good? That almost seems sacrilegious.

We call it Good Friday because it truly is good. No, we do not celebrate Jesus’ death per se. Rather we celebrate all that His death accomplished. We celebrate that though He died, and died a terrible death, He said “It is finished,” and it was. We celebrate because He rose victorious over sin and death.

Jesus laid down His life for us to be the wrath absorbing sacrifice. He did this and many more things and that is why the anniversary of Jesus’s death can be said to be good. Actually, in some sense, because Jesus died and conquered death and sin the anniversary of our loved ones death who are in Christ can now be thought of with joy. It too can become a good anniversary.

I want to encourage you to meditate on what Jesus did for you. Think about the cross where Jesus bore the wrath of God that we deserved. I encourage you to read the narrative accounts in the Gospels. When you read it remember who it is that is being mocked, flogged, and crucified. Remember why it is that He suffered in that way and felt the wrath of God; it was not anything that He had done.

Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12 and be amazed at how precisely it describes both the events of the crucifixion and the reason for the crucifixion and this around 700 years before Jesus was born. Jesus was crushed for our sins (Is. 53:5) and thus makes many to be accounted righteous (v. 11), for example. After reading this passage, I composed this attempt at poetry:

Bound by sins darkened glow
In this world of pain and woe

Helpless, hopeless to us He came
And in the midst was slain

Darkest night, the Light extinguished
Will we forever captives be?

Messiah’s mission ends in death?
Where’s the hope of life and peace?

But by power He awaketh
All of death He did breakth

By His death, deaths defeated
Sins depleted of its power

Thus the hour of unrest
Has become our hope, our joy, our rest

For in Christ’s death,
Deaths defeated!

Yes, He burst the bonds that bound Him
And leads many captives in His wake

Yes, from the cross He is victorious
And all of heaven hails He’s glorious!

About Paul O'Brien

I am a lot of things; saint and sinner. I struggle and I strive. I am a husband and father of three. I have been in pastoral ministry for 10 years. I went to school at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary but most of my schooling has been at the School of Hard Knocks. I have worked various jobs, including pheasant farmer, toilet maker, construction worker, and I served in the military. My wife and I enjoy reading at coffee shops, taking walks, hanging out with friends and family, and watching our three kid's antics. :)

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