Saturday, April 11, 2009

Finding the Good in Good Friday

For much of my life I didn't understand why the Friday before Easter was called Good Friday. After all, wasn't that the day that Jesus Christ was whipped and mocked and spat upon, only to be hung on a cross, crucified for blasphemy? What's so good about that?

Growing up my mom dragged my sister and me to church most weeks. It was a tiny little church full of old people and I was lucky if I had one other girl in my Sunday school class. Many Sundays it was me and a 60 some year old man as my teacher. You can imagine that church attendance became a burden for me after a while. I finally put my foot down and stopped going when I was about 12. It wasn't that I wasn't interested in God, I just didn't want to learn about Him that way any longer. My mom stopped attending soon after.

About 4 years passed where I didn't attend church and I really don't think I missed church, or God for that matter. It was toward the end of those 4 years that I started pursing some things that could have caused me some major problems in the future. My friends and I were only freshmen but with many junior and senior (boy)friends we were finding some creative ways to spend our weekends. I was having fun.

During this time I met a girl named Davonne. She invited me to go to a summer camp with about 20 kids from my school. I remember thinking there was no way my mom would let me go but somehow it all worked out. It was there at that camp in Colorado that I heard the Good News of Good Friday.

I remember sitting on a rock, on a foothill of a mountain, thinking about the fact that God allowed His Son, and somehow Himself, to hang on a cross. A cross. Could there be a worse way to die? After having received 40 lashes, nails were drilled into his hands and feet. A crown of thorns was placed on His head and He was mocked by many around Him. He had the power to get down off the incincerate His mockers but instead He remained silent. He did not move, He did not speak. The sky went dark and He endured humility and anguish for us, shouting "It is Finished."

At that point, almost 20 years ago, my life changed. I gave up much of the "fun" I was having, realizing that it wasn't always fun, nor was it always the best choices that I could be making for my life. I started to read my Bible and understand more of what God had in store for me, how He wanted me to live my life.

Every year Good Friday means more to me. I get the Good now. Without His death on the cross we could not know God. He has reconciled us to Himself. He has taken care of our sin, making us right with Him. Indeed, it is Good Friday.

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