Pastor’s ponderings

Why is it that we call today “Good Friday?”  What’s so good about it?  Of all the days recorded in the Bible, the events of this day are the most dark, the most miserable.  It was a day of extreme suffering and bleakness.  So, in consideration of all this, why don’t we call it “Bad Friday” or “Dark Friday,” “Sorrowful Friday” or “The Day of Anguish?”  Why don’t we consider it in any other way than to be “good?”

            I was recently reading an article that asked this very question, “What’s so Good about Good Friday?”  (  There the author noted, “Good Friday is ‘good’ because as terrible as that day was, it had to happen for us to receive the joy of Easter.”  “Without that awful day of suffering, sorrow, and shed blood at the cross” we wouldn’t have the culmination of “God’s gloriously good plan to redeem the world.”  “The cross is where we see the convergence of great suffering and God’s forgiveness.”  It is there that Jesus endured the most unspeakable of shame in order to prepare the way for the resurrection – both his and ours.

            All too often, we want to jump from the celebration of Palm Sunday to the excitement of Easter.  However, without first stopping to remember the events of Holy Week, and most especially those of Good Friday, we really can’t understand the fullness of what really happened.  Without first understanding what Jesus went through on the darkest day in all of history, we really can’t put the glory of the Resurrection into the fullness of light that it is.  Without death, there is no resurrection.  Without Jesus’ sacrifice, we have not been saved.  Without the cross, we cannot understand the lengths that God went to in providing us righteousness, mercy, forgiveness, grace, and love.  Without diving into the darkness of this day, we really cannot understand the brilliance of the Light of the world.

            Sunday, countless people will flock to church to recall the resurrection story, because it is a good story.  Yet, I think to fully participate in it, we must first ponder the events leading up to it.  You can’t read the last chapter of a book and glorify in the hero’s success, without reading the prior chapters to understand what all they went through to get there, can you?  The same applies to the events of Holy Week – we have to know it all the way through to grasp the deep reality of how good things really are.

            So, hope to see you this evening, as we recall the events of Good Friday and prepare ourselves for the celebration of Easter.  And, I pray, we will all spend the quiet hours of Holy Saturday, reflecting on what all these things mean for us today, pondering what Jesus did and why.  For only then will we understand how today truly is Good Friday.

                                                                                    Pastor Steve

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