Over the past several years of academics and ministry, I have become a follower of Jesus who values theology very deeply. I believe theology is very logical and sequential if we simply take the time to look at the whole picture. When we intentionally take a “helicopter view” of the entire Bible, we see theology from a different point of view.
In 2015, I was given the opportunity to study the final weeks leading to Jesus’ death and resurrection. The sermon series that resulted from this amazing study was eye-opening at the very least.
Of course, my study had to land on Good Friday, the day that Christians across the globe pause long enough to honor the death of Jesus Christ before we go back to our normal lives. That seems a little odd, doesn’t it? We call the day our Savior died a good day.
Jesus’ run of popularity had come to an abrupt stop. The Jewish community desperately hoped this Jesus would overthrow the Roman Empire and become their political leader. They longed to return to the glory days of King David and King Solomon. The Jewish community had their dreams ‘stolen’ from them because the religious leaders decided Jesus didn’t fit into their system of worship. In fact, the entire Jewish community missed the fullness of Jesus because he didn’t fit into the system they looked for. It’s a little refreshing to know that after centuries, people haven’t changed that much in their views about God.
Again, doesn’t it seem odd that we call this day Good? It does seem odd if you don’t know the whole story.
Before you stop reading and presume you know the rest of the story, do you? Do you really know the significance of why that day was a GOOD FRIDAY? Yes, it is directly connected to the resurrection of Easter Sunday. However, it goes much deeper than the resurrection.
GOOD FRIDAY was the day the entire Jewish community came together to sacrifice the Passover Lamb for the past year’s sins. This was the day of atonement. Each person had experienced redemption. Each person was given right standing with God. Each person had a clean slate. No more shame. All guilt was gone. This was the best day of the year.
GOOD FRIDAY was actually a combination of two festivals. GOOD FRIDAY was the culmination of the Passover Festival, but GOOD FRIDAY was also the beginning of the Festival of Unleavened Bread. This festival reminded the Jewish community they were no longer in bondage. Slavery was no longer their identity. They had been given a fresh, new beginning. They were no longer trapped in their past.
The good in GOOD FRIDAY has been celebrated for roughly 3500 years. GOOD FRIDAY continues to be significant to each one of us who have surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ. We are redeemed! We have right standing with God. We carry no guilt and no shame. We have been given a fresh, new beginning. We are no longer slaves to our past lives.
How will you spend time honoring GOOD FRIDAY today? How will you celebrate that you are have right standing with Jesus Christ?