I remember when I was in college, I was taking a class on Judaism. It was holy week and the professor opined, “Why do we call Friday Good Friday?” In all honesty, up to that point, I had never really even considered this. It struck me. I remember thinking, “Why do we call it Good Friday?” It seemed an out of place adjective. I thought something like Dark Friday or Somber Friday or All-Hope-Is-Lost Friday would be more appropriate.
Of course, it is a matter of perspective. No doubt had we been there that fateful day, one of my choices would have fit the bill. But, we call it Good Friday because we live on this side of it . . . you know, the resurrection side of it. We have another lens by which to view it. We see it for what Christ accomplished for us, sinners, on the cross . . . his cross, our cross.
The great Christian doctrine of the substitutionary death of Christ. As John the Baptizer put it, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (Jn. 1.29)
I have made it a custom to read the Good Friday message every year on this day. I begin reading it at 9am and will read it until 3pm.
This year I decided to read it to my three and one year year old daughters. They have several Children’s Bibles and the like and so I chose one of them and we sat down together (on a princess pink couch!) and read the good news.
My three year old, when she saw Jesus depicted hanging on the cross, bleeding from cuts and wounds, pointed to him and exclaimed, “Oh no, Jesus has boo-boos!” I replied, “Yes baby he does. Boo-boos for us.”
I thought that was as far as we should go for her young mind. And, I think, for now, it was enough.
She sat there for several seconds looking at Jesus on the cross. Then she pointed to the next picture that showed Jesus’ dead body being carried away from Golgotha.
It was a somber, touching moment.
And then . . .
And then, kids being kids, or better yet, humans being humans, she got mad at her younger sister for sitting in her spot on the pink princess couch and proceeded to throw (or pitch?!) a hissy fit! Well, nothing like a poignant picture of the human condition!
In one moment mesmerized over the sacrifice of our Savior (boo-boos and all) and the next being in a huff with our fellow sojourners. Typical, but true.
Thank you God for your awesome love and grace. Thank you for sending your one and only Son. Thank you that today, for all its gore and sadness, truly is Good Friday!
I heard Dr. Calvin Miller, a former professor of mine, (who is celebrating this Easter in the presence of his Savior and King . . . Way to go Dr. Miller!), say that often times he would just utter these three little letters, TYG!, which stood for, Thank you God!
So, echoing his testimony, I simply and humbly exclaim, TYG!