What is good about Good Friday? How can there be any good in a day on which the very Son of God died a barbaric death, betrayed and dismissed by the very ones he came to earth to love and to save?
On Good Friday, we give thanks to a loving, compassionate God who suffers with us. Our God is not a remote, impassive being who rules from on high. He came down to our level; he entered into the midst of our messy lives. Jesus, our brother, gave his own life to save us, his unworthy siblings. He died for us while we were yet sinners. He knows our worst pain, because he has endured it first-hand: betrayal, sorrow, humiliation, physical agony, and death. God the Father knows intimately the terrible reality of losing a child. Our God continues to suffer as we suffer. He grieves as we grieve, because we are his. We are family. Our God surrounds us with his Holy Spirit, as close as our own breath, to sustain and comfort us.
Good Friday is good because our God is good. This day commemorates the completion of Jesus’s mission. From the cross, he cried out, not in exhausted defeat, but in triumph, in victory: “It is finished.” The perfect sacrifice has been made. The mission is accomplished, but the story is far from over.
Because of Good Friday, Easter is in the works. The stone of the tomb will be rolled away. Because Christ our Savior lives, so we shall also live. Death will be swallowed up in victory.
Let us give thanks to our Good Friday God!