What’s so ‘good’ about Good Friday?
– answered by Mary Rowan
The question has been asked – “What’s so “good” about Good Friday?” To some it’s a long weekend holiday. To the “sweet-toothed” it’s a feast of chocolate Easter eggs, hot cross buns and simnel cake. To others, it’s the Friday of Holy Week in the religious calendar. Still others think of it as a dark day in history involving plots, betrayal, cruelty, ending in the death of a man called Jesus. As Easter approaches, it’s an opportunity to think again about this unique event that took place on a hill outside Jerusalem – to really stop – and gaze! – at the Cross of Christ.
Its origins are found in the Bible, in the New Testament – an execution carried out by Roman soldiers. On further reading, we discover it was so much more – a plan God had masterminded from before the world was even created! God’s super-knowledge knew the first man he would create, (and all generations following,) would break the relationship He had with him, and do his own thing. The purpose of His plan was to restore that relationship between Himself and all mankind –but how, and when? That was the mystery! – and that’s where the Cross comes in!
God leaves a trail of pictorial clues of His plan throughout the Old Testament. For instance – hundreds of years before the crucifixion, it was prophesied that a servant would be abused, ill-treated, lashed and finally punished by “piercing” to death. What terrible deed had he done? None! All this suffering was on the people’s behalf (because of our wickedness, our transgressions, our rebellion,) so that we could be spared what we deserved. It was God’s will that this innocent servant would be punished instead of us. With hindsight, we see a key clue to the mystery!
And – the mystery was revealed – God-style! His timing! His way! Spectacularly! Angels delivered messages to a carpenter and his betrothed wife that the baby she conceived would be called Jesus because he would save His people from their sins! Also known as the Son of the Most High!
A few months later, God parted the night sky, and a blaze of the splendour and glory of heaven descended on some shepherds, with an angel announcing, “Good news! Great joy! a Saviour has been born!” and others adding “Glory to God!”
Eventually, it dawned on the people that this Jesus, Son of God, Saviour, fulfilled the prophet’s words about the “Servant”. At the start of His mission, Jesus tells the people, “Repent of your wicked ways, or you’ll perish” and “I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life” – the consequences of their sin and the rescue plan through Him. The day came when the full glory and splendour of God’s plan would be seen at the cross when Jesus, the obedient Servant, took the full fury of God’s wrath for the world’s sin.
In all His agonising suffering, with blood flowing from His wounds, Jesus could say, “It is finished!” Jesus’s work was completed…… but God’s plan is yet to be finished!
What’s “good” about Good Friday? It’s all “good news” for the world. God’s “clues” pointed to the Cross and forgiveness – but our destiny depends on our response to the Cross.
Are you an avid reader? Have you read the Bible?
There are thousands of questions like our Good Friday question in the Bible. It’s a book packed full of questions, answers, plots, prophesies, promises, mysteries and compelling characters, all of which are as relevant today as the times they reflect. It’s a compelling read but then the facts speak for themselves!
- The bible is the world’s best-selling and most widely distributed book with millions still being printed and sold every year
- There are 66 books contained in the Bible which took 40 authors over 1,500 years to write
- The Bible has been translated into more than 300 languages