Have you ever wondered why today is called “Good Friday”? After all, this is the day we remember the crucifixion and death of Jesus. It seems like a weird thing to call this day “good”. The reality is that, as Christians, we can call this Good Friday because we live on this side of Easter. We know that crucifixion and death is not the end of the story. As terrible as that first Friday was, death did not get the final word.
For the second year in a row I have started off my Good Friday walking around the stations of the cross prayer walk at the Edmond Campus with one of our men’s community groups. And for the second year in a row I found myself singing the hymn, “What Wondrous Love is This” in my head as I was walking. The lyrics of the first verse say, “What wondrous love is this! That caused the Lord of bliss! To send this precious peace, to my soul”.
It was out of God’s great love for us that He chose to endure the cross on Friday so that we might have peace in our souls. In John’s Gospel, he says, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” That is exactly what God chose to do.
Even though we can look back and call this “Good Friday” because we stand on this side of Easter, it’s important to also know that it is normal to grieve on a day like this. We do experience the sadness that comes with facing the death of Christ. As Christians around the world gather tonight to celebrate with Good Friday worship services, we can often find it very difficult to confront the reality of death because it’s not always so positive and uplifting. Yet, I believe that when we allow ourselves to reflect on the death of Jesus, we are more fully able to celebrate the good news of Easter Sunday morning!
If you don’t already have a place to worship I want to invite you to join me at St. Luke’s this weekend for a Good Friday service tonight at 6:30 at the Edmond Campus or 7:30 at the Downtown Campus, or join us for any of the 9 Easter worship services across all our campuses and online. Today we grieve, but Sunday is coming!