Friday, April 2, 2010

A Good Friday

"Most Americans consider Easter to be a religious holiday, but fewer identify the resurrection of Jesus as the underlying meaning." (The Barna Group, March 15 2010)

Today is Good Friday.  Seems kindof ironic that it is called "Good" when it is a day we remember that Christ suffered and died.  Today I went to Chuck E Cheese with some friends.  Parents and their children milled about, having fun and playing games.  Most of the world treats this just as any other day.  For many, it is finally Spring Break - a day for celebration!  And part of me wonders: is this okay?  Is it okay to be happy on the day we are remembering that Jesus suffered and died?

I don't know about you, but I tend to skip over Good Friday and go straight to Easter.  I also don't like to rent sad movies.  I always go for comedies.  So maybe this is a personality thing.  But Good Friday seems like such a sad day, a day of mourning.  Would I go to Chuck E Cheese if a family member had just died today?  Um, probably not.  But I'll get back to that later.

At MOPS last week, our speaker shared about this subject. She said that some people look forward to Good Friday, and some people look forward to Easter.  She said that she loved Good Friday - going to a church service and sitting in silent meditation, with candles lit, remembering what Christ did.  Me?  I have dreaded those services!  They seem so sad!! I want to get to the Easter celebration and the cupcakes, you know?!

But here is why Good Friday really is GOOD:

-It is the beginning of the story, not the end.  This one has a happy ending.
-The sadness was turned to joy.
-If it weren't for the sacrifice He made, we would have no hope.  We would have no purpose for living.
-We would constantly be living in fear of making a mistake, knowing that we had to atone for our own sin.
-He did die, but He also rose from the dead!  

Whereas the believers around Him didn't know the end of the story (but by faith), they only experienced the grief on Good Friday.  They suffered and cried and heaved sobs and held each other and mourned, because He was gone.  But we know the rest of the story; that three days later He rose from the grave.  So we can indeed, remember and celebrate on Good Friday.

I think it's important that we take time to remember what happened.  That we take the time to sit and process it, to think about it, because we can too easily take it for granted.  We can too easily overlook the price that He paid so that YOU and I could be free and have hope and eternal life.  If we just skip straight to Easter and cupcakes, we're missing half of the story.  

Here's where I hope you can be encouraged today.  Our speaker shared with us that in the Bible, so often the words "mourning and dancing" or "sorrow and joy" are tied together. 

Psalm 126:5
Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.

Psalm 126:6
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.

Psalm 30:5
For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Psalm 30:11
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy

Jeremiah 31:13
Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well.  I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

On days like today, Good Friday, we need to mourn and recognize the sacrifice Jesus made for us.  But over and over we see that He will turn our mourning into dancing and joy.  "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Ps. 30:5)

What are you mourning right now?  Are you in a season of grieving?  Just remember that before the joy can come, often the pain and sorrow exist.  Hang on, because joy is coming!

So, Chuck E Cheese?  Well, we know the end of the story.  So I think Jesus is okay with Chuck E Cheese too :)

(If you'd like to know more about the meaning of Easter, here are some great podcasts!)


  1. Great post! We typically watch "The Passion" each Good Friday and attend service at our church, but tonight we'll be missing it b/c good friends (who we haven't seen in a LONG time) are coming into town for tonight only and I was feeling a little bad for not being able to mourn today. Thankfully I had a little break in the day after lunch that I was able to dig into the Word and reflect. God is SO GOOD!

  2. I totally agree! I tend to skip Good Friday too. I even joked about it on my FB page! But not to make light of the fact that Christ suffered & died for me. I acknowledge the meaning of Good Friday and thank God for His Son Jesus and all that Jesus did for me and for the world. But I don't mourn or sit inside solomly, watching sad movies. The joy in my heart is from Jesus and sadness doesn't live where joy is. So I'm joyful for what He did for me and am looking forward to Sunday where I can really celebrate and praise our living Lord Jesus!!

  3. Thanks Jaimie. Our family is dealing with something right now that seems a bit insurmountable but I know God will bring joy at the other side of all this. I needed that reminder today.

  4. I think I would feel more sad about going to Chuck E. Cheese then a good Friday service:). Good verses Jaimie. It feels good to read them.