“Holy week” continues as we count down toward this Sunday’s celebration of Easter. Today is the day we call Good Friday. Some of you are already off work today for the holiday weekend for Good Friday. Others are out of school. I noticed that even the New York Stock Exchange is shut down.
I heard on the radio about a city in Iowa which experienced quite an uproar when the city administrator decided that Good Friday (which had long been observed as a city holiday) was now to be called the “Spring Holiday.” The city council and mayor eventually overturned the decision, changing the day back to Good Friday, but not before it caused quite a stir. Whatever it was called, the city employees got their day off.
However, I wonder how many of them have stopped to think about why they are off work, or why their city offices are not open. And, I wonder how many Wall Street brokers have really reflected on why the stock exchange is closed down. Other than a paid off-day for some, what’s so “good” about Good Friday?
It is a little ironic, to say the least. I’ve always found it kind of strange that we refer to the day on which the most important person in human history was murdered, as “good.” The thought of a man brutally beaten beyond recognition, hanging on a barbaric cross with nails in his hands and feet, a crown of thorns piercing His head, and a spear thrust into His side, doesn’t usually elicit the description of “good.”
Good Friday can be good only because Easter Sunday is even better! Jesus Christ did die that cruel death on our behalf, but His crucifixion was not the end of the story. His victory over death and the grave is what gives us life, hope, peace–and our own victory through His sacrifice. As the apostle Paul wrote, “Death has been swallowed up in victory!”
This weekend as you celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday, I hope you’ll take time to remember what Jesus did for you and me on Calvary’s cross, and that you’ll live your life in such a way that it will be worthy of such a sacrifice. “He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)
Have a good Good Friday. I hope you can join us for our special service commemorating Christ’s death on the cross tonight, and for Easter worship on Sunday, as we celebrate the risen Christ. I am praying for you, and I look forward to seeing you at Shelby Crossings.