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What’s So ‘good’ about Good Friday?

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!

Posted by Will Pareja with

A Letter to Mary

Dear Blessed Woman,

I know you won’t get this. I doubt you’ll even see this as you are in heaven joined by that great cloud of witnesses. After all, you don’t share the “ever present” or “all-knowing” qualities of your Lord and mine.

What was it like to be surprised by that angel? Did you have any idea? When did you tell your parents? What was their reaction? The Sacred Text doesn’t tell me, but did the angel come to them, too? In my society, parental disclosure from the news source for such an event would help (of course, the celestial announcement would have been appalling by itself). What do you think Joseph would have done if an angel didn’t inform him? Did you really believe or was it surreal? What did your friends say? Did anyone tell the synagogue leaders? Was suspicion building? It must have been a good thing that your cousin Elizabeth was pregnant, too. In a way, she “had the back” of your Lord and mine.

What did you crave during your pregnancy with Messiah? What was going through your head those 9 months knowing you were carrying a king? You really seem to have a mature view of God’s economics when it comes to the rich and poor, for you and your family were always struggling to make ends meet. What did the priest say when you gave him the name Yeshua? What was it like to hear Simeon’s prophecy about your future sorrow? Did you ever really anticipate the grief to come when Jesus would leave your home only to become homeless? Speaking of sorrow and grief, what did you think when you heard of Herod’s slaughter? Did you shed tears in sackcloth and ashes, make an offering or fast? Did you ever imagine the cost involved in birthing your Lord and mine in that stable?

Dear Mary, what was it like to patch up his first scraped knee? How weird was it to go shopping or to parties and never remind Jesus of the family rules? Did you ever feel unfair disciplining his half-siblings? Did you ever in a moment of alone time with Yeshua just bow down and worship both your Lord and mine?

Posted by Will Pareja with