Friday, April 2, 2010

God's good...our bad

Today is called "Good Friday" by many people. All day I have been struggling with whether or not that is the case. This blog will probably be a struggle as well. But it is cathartic to write it, so even if it only muddies the waters for you, it is helping me already.

If I take a human focus to the events ~2,000 years ago, then I suppose it could be seen as good. I fail often in focusing this way...but ultimately it is not about us, or our focus, this is all about God.

Did God see what happened that day as good?

Certainly it was love, it was mercy, it was grace...but good? Good has so many definitions...this could be a sermon long blog if I am not careful. It fits some, not so much others.

What happened? Jesus was abandoned by all around Him, was beaten, spit on, tortured, had his flesh torn from his face, was abused so as to be beyond recognition as a human being (Isaiah 52:14) Jesus asks why God has forsaken Him, the sun stopped shining, the ground shook, Judas hanged himself, the list continues.

I think in some ways I like the moniker "Good Friday" because it is just so ironic. You look at the events of what transpired that day and it does not seem good to me. I wonder what those that really witnessed it would have said had they known this day would be called good? It is in fact good because God is good, and it was His will this would happen...Isaiah 53:10 "Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer..." but by what we can see, it hardly seems good to me.

We call it Good Friday, but that did not catch on until the 6th or 7th century. Before that it was called Holy or Great Friday. Why is it called Good Friday now? There are a few ideas on that..."Gute Freitag" from the Germanic that literally means good or holy Friday, or the idea that it was originally God's Friday, but saying His name out loud was considered too holy for most commoners to speak. Either of those names I would be on board with in a much easier way. I suppose at least for me it is positive that it is called Good Friday, because it makes me reflect in His Word about this more than something a little more palatable like Holy Friday or God's Friday (as if all Fridays are not God's?)

Christ had a lot to pray about Good Friday in the garden. The events of that Friday were horrible and in a way represent what all of us have done to God through our sin. Reportedly when filming his movie on the subject, Mel Gibson had it be his hands that were shown in the movie driving the nails...precisely because it is as if every one of us had a part in his death. I think that is a great place to start in worship of God...but not in a way that makes me feel "good" as we typically define it.

Ultimately I have a problem with how Good Friday is used because it is celebrated in a happy, smiling kind of way often times. When I say it...I cringe. It is a horrible event that had to happen because of our sin. But I also rejoice through the cringe and tears because as Romans 6:8-10 is written "8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God."

I heard a sermon today that was not given for resurrection Sunday or this week...but it struck me nonetheless....If God is I AM...what does that make me? I am not. Good Friday is not about it being good for is about glorifying God for the good He is and what He much He endured for His own glory in satisfying what we as His could never provide...a sacrifice worthy of Himself! This horrible day was horrible because of us...and perfect and good because of Him.

Now I think about this some more. If you are touched to struggle with this and want to leave comments, please do, that we might be further edified through contemplation and study on the matter.

1 comment:

Marilyn Mack said...

Hola Trevor and Valerie,

This is Marilyn. We just visited with you a couple of weeks ago at Lake Yajoa. I said I would look you up on Facebook and here I am.

I only read this first blog and am amazed at how you wrote about Good Friday in such a clear and accurate explanation. Whenever I was asked to explain the meaning of it, I lacked substance. What you wrote really expresses the true meaning.