March 29, 2024

When I was in 2nd grade, I had my first occasion of spending the night at a friend’s house. In fact, I got to stay with two of my best friends because they were sisters.

I remember that I would spend many nights with them on Friday nights, which meant that we watched the latest episode of Full House on TV, ate our favorite snacks, and had a great time playing in the cool backyard playhouse their dad had built.

One particular Friday, we were outside playing and wanted to ride bikes. I had yet to conquer riding a bike without training wheels, but my friends’ bikes didn’t have training wheels. Their dad offered to help me ride. It wasn’t long before he had let go (even though I had repeatedly asked him to make sure he would stay holding on). I was off riding a bike on my own without training wheels! This is a big childhood milestone and something that I remember clearly. It’s also in my memory because this wasn’t just any Friday night. It was Good Friday.

I thought it was really cool that I accomplished this feat on Good Friday. So, Good Friday was a good day for me! But I also remember feeling confused. Could I really be excited about this good thing for me on the day we remember that Jesus died on the cross? And really, why did we call it Good Friday anyhow? Death on a cross seems anything but good.

Good Friday is good because we know the rest of the story. What was intended to put a stop to God’s plan by ending Jesus’ life was actually the setup for the most incredible miracle and display of God’s power. Not only was this miraculous, but the cross no longer represented only the death of Jesus, but an empty cross represents His resurrection and life. And more than that, the cross reminds us of God’s incredible, amazing, and sacrificial love for all of us. Good Friday is good because God didn’t hold back His love. God’s love was on full display.

It’s important during this time of Lent to reflect and ponder the reality of our sin and the death of Christ. But as Easter people, we know the rest of the story. We know the good news, so we can also celebrate and be full of joy. We can consider Good Friday a really good day. For God so loved…this is the greatest promise, the reason for our greatest joy because of God’s greatest sacrifice, which showed us the greatest gift of all.

Amy Givens, Director of Youth Ministries and Discipleship