Just What's So "Good" About Good Friday?
Only one man has ever been justified to say, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”* There are times when all the rest of us feel forsaken by the Lord, but the reality of sin means it’s we who have forsaken Him. The incarnate God had to suffer and cry that He was forsaken by His Father because we, His children, chose to forsake our Father first. It wasn’t Christ who sinned in Eden; it wasn’t the Father who orchestrated our fall. It was mankind alone who sentenced Jesus Christ—the only perfect man to ever walk the Earth—to the torment of the cross.
It's therefore puzzling that we should call the darkest day in human history “Good Friday.” From our immediate vantage point, there’s nothing good about it. It’s darker than all the genocides that have ever occurred, and it’s more sinister than any future conspiracies to wipe out a nation. Killing Christ wasn’t just a genocide; it was the genocide. We rightfully call genocide an odious evil insofar as it murders millions of lives, but murdering Christ murdered life. A maniac commits high treason against his species when he eradicates a people, but mankind commits treason against everything which exists, even mankind, when he crucifies Jesus Christ.
Herein lies the paradox. From the life of man comes death; from the death of the Son of Man comes life. All children of the first Adam shall die; all children of the second Adam shall live. We tend to erroneously believe that the death of a man is when everything ends, but the death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday is when everything begins. That is, by man’s actions while he was alive, the whole human race fell deep into the corruption of sin. But by the Son of Man’s actions while He died, the corruption of sin was conquered.
Granted, Good Friday is a day that demons love, but it’s also a day that demons hate. It’s a moment in Pandemonium when servants of the Serpent can celebrate their temporary triumph over the King, but it’s also one where they mourn their eternal and pitiful failure to frustrate the salvation of the Carpenter from Nazareth. Death wreaked all her rage and malice against the Christ nailed on the cross, but He didn’t long lie vanquished in the grave. The reason Good Friday is good is that Easter Sunday comes after it. The goodness of Friday is that it was the day the hydra of sin received her mortal wound. It was because Christ said, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” that all of us, even in death, can one day say, “My God, my God, why have You forgiven me?”
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