It’s because of a death. And… what’s so ‘good’ about a day dedicated to observing a death? In our culture, we don’t deal too well with death. We call it other things or dance around it through a plethora of self-preservation tactics propagated by pundits, entertainers, surgeons, and make-up artists. We don’t typically wear symbols of death: electric chairs, nooses, collapsing buildings, or tombstones. Then, what makes the Roman cross any different as a symbol of goodness? Good Friday is ‘good’ because of one Person’s (Jesus) actions towards another Person (God) on behalf of other persons (us).
1. Good Friday is ‘good’ because Jesus was good.
Jesus said, “I was born to testify to the truth (John 18:23).” In his life, Jesus succeeded in every part that we failed. By his Father’s approval at his baptism, his passing the wilderness test, his obedience to God’s law, Jesus proved to be the ultimate human worthy of carrying out a divine rescue plan.
2. Good Friday is ‘good’ because Jesus had to fulfill his Father’s plan.
There was only one plan conceived before the ages began that God would enact to deal with sin and reconcile his lost people to himself. God was rightfully angry, and that anger had to be satisfied. How does a God get satisfied? Isaiah 53 answers that: “Yet is was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin…” Jesus suffered his Father’s rejection so that we could be accepted.
3. Good Friday is ‘good’ because Jesus took the place that we rightfully deserved.
Indeed, we are precious creations of God, made in his image, but we’re each fundamentally and personally bent towards sin and corruption. There is no possible goodness in us that outweighs our bad and the debt we owe to God. We needed a substitute to make our way back to God, ‘the just for the unjust’ (1 Peter 3:18).
It’s ‘good’ —yea, great—because it is about the Gospel. And, if Good Friday is good because of the cross work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, then, it’s good for any day of the week or year. Thank God for that Friday, and thank YOU for the cross!