A Day of Somber Reflection

I’ve often wondered why the Friday before Easter is called “Good”. Perhaps it was because it was good for mankind that God’s plan of Salvation was completed as Christ died on the cross that day. Or, maybe it used to be called God’s Friday. But in actuality it was a most horrific day, a day of intense suffering by One who was absolutely without sin. He had done no wrong;  yet, He paid the penalty of death for us. So, in that sense, it was a day that was eternally good for us.

The earth as God created it was beautiful; clean, pure and bright. Perhaps when Jesus walked upon it, nature responded in adoration. Were the flowers a little more beautiful, the shade trees a bit more sheltering? Were wild animals gentle and unafraid as their Master strode by? Little children loved  Him. They, so newly come from the hand of God, recognized His love and acceptance. They mirrored His joy and delight as they climbed upon his knees.

But sin held sway and horror gripped the earth on the Friday Jesus died. Darkness covered everything and everyone. Not the darkness of a spring thunderstorm but a thick, suffocating darkness. Candles may have been lit in homes as people groped about as if they were blind. The earth shook and groaned as the veil in the temple ripped apart, top to bottom. A deep, abiding sorrow filled the hearts of those who loved Him–His mother, His followers; their hope was gone. Their Lord had died.

They could not know at that time that their grief would be replaced with amazement and joy. They did not know that the Lord would rise from death bringing hope to them and generations to come. But, we know. On Good Friday, we look back with gratitude that Jesus suffered and died for us and we look forward to Easter, a new and glorious day dawning and we  praise our Savior who is alive!

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