Good Friday. A day when sorrow mingles with joy, tears of rejoicing with tears of mourning, and the blood of Jesus with our own sins. A time of reflection and meditation, when we look inward at our own hearts and recognize the magnitude of what Christ has done for us. Because we know how the story ends, it can be easy to forget or to glaze over the ugliness and sorrow of what came before. But that is not how it ought to be. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a glorious event that represents His final victory over death. But it was His death that took our sins from us and killed them upon a wooden cross. It was his blood, shed for us, that cleansed us. And we cannot discount the crucifixion and what it means for us simply because we know the truth of the Resurrection.
This Good Friday, I urge you to remember that Good Friday was the Worst Friday, until Sunday. To the apostles and all of Christ’s disciples, it seemed that all that they were working toward was being destroyed. They didn’t understand the necessity of the sacrifice. They didn’t recognize that His death was necessary to bring about the Kingdom of God that they so desired. They didn’t realize that it was only through His blood that they were being washed clean.
To all of the disciples of Jesus, it surely seemed that everything was falling apart. In Christ’s arrest and crucifixion, all that they had seen Him build seemed to topple. But in fact, in hammering the nails into His hands, the Cornerstone of the Church was being pounded into place. Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone, the Foundation of the Kingdom, was killed, and in His death, the Kingdom was finally established. It was not the end- it was the beginning. It was not the toppling of all that He had built- it was the culmination. But it was also a moment of sorrow, and today, we need to learn to see Good Friday for what it truly is.
A time of repentance and recognition of our sins. A time to feel the weight that has been taken from our shoulders. A time to rejoice in the Love of God and mourn what our actions have brought about. A time of humility, when we drop to our knees before the God who gave Himself up for us. A time of renewed courage, to stand firm and experience a desire to live up to what God knows we can be. A time to strive to succeed where we have failed before. A time to gaze upon the Cross and recognize that our old selves have been crucified upon it. A time to live as disciples of Christ, to stand by Him as He stood by us, even to the point of death.
Good Friday is a powerful time, but it is so often buried beneath the anticipation of the Sunday that follows. I urge you today to fall to your knees at the foot of the Cross, and lay down whatever has been holding you back. All of our sins and failures were killed and thrown away upon that tree, and Good Friday is a time to throw off those clinging strands, to leave them at the Cross, and to throw ourselves into Christ’s arms. We are so unworthy, so wretched, so broken; and yet He loves us. He loves you. He died for you. Remember Him today. Never forget… He died for you.