Why is it called Good Friday?

good fridayHave you ever wondered that? Why is today… the day we remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ… why is it called “good?” How could something so horrific, so brutal, ever be called good? I’ve heard it said that asphyxiation by crucifixion is one of the most painful deaths imaginable. Add that to the reality that the Romans were masters of death, and well… ’nuff said.

Some will say that it’s akin to a texting fail. You know, you tried to type father but because your thumbs are too big you typed farter. They say it was originally “God’s” Friday, but over time it became “Good” Friday. Others suggest that it is good as in holy, a day set by the church to observe a sacred time or season. Have you ever heard someone say, “Good tidings,” at Christmas? Same idea.

These may very well be true. I’m no expert. However, I think the only way we can call it Good Friday is if we view it from the perspective of Sunday. In other words, there are some things we experience that can only be fully understood when we look back at them from a place of victory. If Jesus doesn’t get out of the grave on Sunday morning, it’s anything but Good Friday.

It’s Defeated Friday.

It’s Fearful Friday.

It’s Hopeless Friday.

But He did get out! And when He came out of that grave, He didn’t come out empty-handed. He came out with all power and authority in heaven and earth. That thing that’s been holding you down… that addiction, that depression, that stress… Jesus stripped it of it’s power.

It’s good because on the cross of Calvary, Jesus took the best the enemy had to offer. He exhausted every weapon that could be used against you. The devil has nothing to throw at you because He threw it all at Jesus.

It’s good because it’s the day we remember that through Jesus, God showed his great love for us. Jesus became sin… became like us so that we might become like Him.

And it’s that same power that raised Jesus from the dead who now lives inside those of us who have surrendered our lives to the Crucified King… the Resurrected King. It’s His power that has been made available to us to announce to the world His good news.

Easter is just 2 days away! I’m so excited, I just about can’t stand it. I hope you’re inviting people. Every time the thought crosses my mind to invite someone to church, I assume that is God speaking to me! The enemy certainly wouldn’t lead me to invite them. So I act on it, knowing if God is leading me then He’ll also empower me.

This isn’t the time to say “no” for people! If God is working on you to invite them, He’s probably working on them to accept. Did you know that surveys suggest 9 out of 10 unchurched people said they would come to church if they were invited? Maybe you don’t fully understand why you’re being led to invite them, but chances are you will when you get to look back on it from a place of victory.

In that case, any day can be a “good” day.

Advertisements

What I learned about Easter from a wild goose.

Lately, one of my favorite evening activities has been to walk the fairway behind my house and look for lost golf balls. If you haven’t been to my house, we live on a golf course. We don’t get free golf, sadly. However, I usually find about 10 golf balls each time I go out, so that’s something!

As I was walking yesterday, I came upon a mother goose watching over her eggs. I must have crossed her “don’t come near my babies” line because she raised up and let out a hiss that can only be described as terrifying. If you happened to be just at the right spot on Greenbrier Blvd., you were treated to the hilarious sight of a grown man in a full sprint in fear from a goose that never moved.

I’m not proud about that, but it did give me a particular thought. What if we were as passionate about inviting people to church as that goose was about protecting her unhatched babies? What if we understood our mission to be as vital and necessary as that mother goose’s? It certainly is.

I haven’t spent a ton of time reading 2 Timothy, but I did come across a passage that has just lodged in my heart lately. From the International Children’s Bible (don’t judge me…) 2 Timothy 1:10 says this, “Jesus destroyed death. And through the Good News, he showed us the way to have life that cannot be destroyed.”

Life that cannot be destroyed. Wow.

When you share the story of Jesus with someone, you’re inviting them to discover a life that cannot be destroyed.

Not by depression.

Not by sickness.

Not by fear.

Not by addiction.

Not by brokenness.

Not by pain.

Life that cannot be destroyed. Period.

Why? Because Jesus destroyed death… and when he destroyed death, he destroyed every weapon that death wielded. They were all stripped of their power. Again, Paul puts it this way in Colossians 2:15, “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

So let’s release our inner wild goose… full of passion, energy, and purpose. Let’s invite our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family members to church this Easter. We have a powerful story to share, and we need not shrink back from it. And when they see the way to have life that cannot be destroyed, let’s make earth look more like heaven, joining the celebration taking place among the angels.