Every year I find myself compelled to go.
I know it will probably feel painful and even a bit dark. I know I will once again sit in a pew with tears streaming down my face as I recognize how unworthy I am of being treated as someone of worth. To be valued, treasured, sacrificed for.
If this is Good Friday, why doesn’t it feel so “good”?
It all seems backward doesn’t it?
What could be good about the unspeakable pain he suffered?
What could be good about the shame and betrayal?
Easter Sunday is so joyful, bright and cheery. The songs are upbeat, hands are clapping and everyone is dressed in their Easter best.
Shouldn’t that be the day we call “good”? It just feels so much better!
But, I don’t know how to sit in the pew on Easter Sunday and rejoice over His resurrection, unless I have felt the pain of His death. I have realized that in life the sweetest victories are the ones which were realized after a pain-filled journey.
And, so it is with Good Friday. I know there will be victory over death and I will sit in that pew surrounded by my family and celebrate with the best of them! But I can’t skip ahead in the story.
“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” John 17:1-5
He knew what was ahead. He knew what he would experience. And he knew why he would go through it.
He did it for me. He did it for you.
Do you know that? It is hard to comprehend isn’t it?
Sometimes it makes me squirm a bit. Why would anyone do that for me? Well, because, I can’t do it for myself!
There is nothing I can do to earn that kind of love and mercy.
That is why it is called GRACE.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10
His grace is freely given. We don’t have to pay for it. He paid the price for us already.
Do you remember that movie from years ago called “Ransom”?
A couple’s young son was kidnapped and the parents went to hell and back trying to find him and pay the “ransom” demanded by the kidnappers.
Well, Jesus is our “ransom”. (1 Timothy 2:6) His life was the payment.
“Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:28-30
Why is it called “Good Friday”?
Because that wasn’t the end of the story….
…It was just the beginning!
I felt the same inadequacy last night sitting in church with my best friends. Thank God that was not the end.
Cheryl Ann says
May the Grace of Easter be with you and your family.
Traci RUDAKAS says
AMEN! Praise God!
Hope Williams says
Ironically, I feel the same, unworthy. How, why, for, who….. It makes my insides hurt so bad sometimes when I think how horrificly Jesus was treated. I can’t comprehend his gift on that level. But after the tears, I know one thing for sure. God lets me feel this so I can feel worthy of being called his daughter. For that I am blessed. I am loved. I am forgiven. I am wanted. I am worthy. And what matters most is that I accepted Jesus’s gift, salvation. And what a gift it has been!
Blessings to all and may the Holy Spirit be upon your heart and soul this weekend. We are truly worthy, ALL IF US!
Happy Easter! He has risen. He has risen indeed!
My iPAD corrected my cross. It evidently had not heard we received this Grace on the cross!
Renee @ The Refined Relic says
What a beautiful post! I completely agree with how you feel. This week is so emotional for me as well. Within a few days of Jesus entering the city, the crowd went from cheering “Hosannah” to “Crucify Him”. The pain that he suffered was beyond what I can comprehend and even imagine. Yet, Jesus died for me and you. Good Friday doesn’t feel good when you understand the price he paid for us and the pain he suffered. However, it was part of God’s plan and the purpose that Jesus was called to fulfill so that we can have everlasting life. For that I am thankful and will strive to live my life to please him. After what Jesus has done for me, how can I not. I wish you and your family a wonderful weekend and a very Happy Easter! God Bless.
Thank you for reminding us. He is risen indeed.
Janete Peres says
Thank’s so much for this message. God blessed you!
Beverly Hollrah says
Today we celebrate the mercy God showed all of us by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, on the cross. Because of His Death and Resurection we celebrate this mercy everyday. Thank you for such an inspirational post.
Lori @ Dining Delight says
Thank you for using your beautiful blog to spread the Word and tell others what “Good” Friday really means. Your post is well thought out and written in an easy to understand way. Praise be to God!
Rose L. says
Such a sacrifice and all out of love. Amen.
Sharon O says
I wrote the same ‘question’ on my blog… will share it with you.
Jan Fusco says
Amen. This is a good time of year to watch Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ”. It really hits home with the suffering he went through for us. Happy Easter to you and your family.
Carol Weiler says
This is a beautiful post and provided me with a moment of reflection and prayer during a very hectic day. Amen.
Julianne Mudric says
In this day and age it is so heartwarming to hear someone express their devotion to our Lord.
Your writing is so expressive and beautiful. Thank you for putting my thoughts in words. jm
Vanessa…this is beautiful. On my way to church tonight I was thinking about why today is called “Good” Friday. I love this service and its somberness. I love sitting in the dark listening to the bells toll. But “Good”is not the feeling I felt as I sat on the pew
Thank you for this beautiful post to remind me if the good, the beauty, the joy of this day.
I have always thought that Jesus was a victim…a willing victim. But this year He has become more of a hero who took the bullet for me. One who willingly dove in front of the bullet of the penalty of sin for me. I can’t begin to tell you how thankful and humbled I feel!! The great thing is that He did this for everyone who will accept it! I mean, I know my husband would take a bullet for me and our kids and grandkids, but Jesus did it for everyone!!! What an amazing Savior we have!!