For much of Christendom, this coming Friday is widely known as Good Friday. Many times though, we need to pause and ask: so what exactly is good about the day itself?
I mean, goodness, the entire day is the basis on which Mel Gibson’s Passion movie was made. And for whoever could watch that movie, the first thought on their mind wasn’t likely to be: “well, that was good.” Or, “how nice an experience this was.” I’m not talking in reference to the quality of the movie making, which I felt was excellent. I’m referring to the movie’s content. Instead, for many, going through it felt like a horrendous exploration of pain. How much pain can one person really endure at the hands of soldiers? I don’t know about you but I haven’t been able to watch the movie again since the one time I saw it. At the time, I also had to physically turn my face away during the flogging scene. Too much. Too much. (My apologies for spoiling it for those who haven’t yet seen it. You’ve got to).
Watching the movie, I kept asking myself: but why? Why? Why would any human be so cruel as to do that to another? What is the extent of (capital) punishment that we feel is OK to do to others? But, my other key “why” question was this: why in the world did Jesus put Himself through all that? I say “put Himself” because as Son of God, He had enough power and resources to do away with all those who were against Him. As a human being, I’m also sure He could’ve come up with creative ways to avoid the entire ordeal. A compromise here, a compromise there. Done.
And yet, no. He didn’t. So…why?
This last question was asked so powerfully in another awesome movie I recently finally got around to seeing and which I greatly recommend. And the answer is still just as simple. Why? Because…love.
What kind of love is this that would pay so dearly to save humankind from death, sin, hell and all negativity? The intentional, complete and all-encompassing kind. I know of agape love, the kind of love Jesus has for ALL human beings, but I don’t know how to replicate it quite. All we are left with is to simply receive His love for us because, frankly, it is entirely mind-blowing.
That love for us all was demonstrated so powerfully by all He went through on our behalf that Friday, on the day of His passion (suffering) and death. On that day, a great exchange happened. Turns out it was supposed to be you and me going through all that suffering. We deserve punishment for our own wicked hearts and activities. However, love that He is, He didn’t want us to have to go through all that PLUS be forever separated from God, so Jesus decided to take our place and go through all that. Wow! THAT is what makes that Friday good. In fact, it’s like the “goodest” day ever in our human history.
I’m thankful, forever thankful, that because of Jesus’ sacrifice I don’t have to live with guilt, shame, and all manner of negativity. He paid for it and bought my freedom. I’m now able to live life to the fullest, filled with true peace and joy. How wonderful!
My hope is that this post has brought some peace to your heart as well. Knowledge is always power. 🙂 If anything, I hope it will cause you to think differently both about Good Friday and, if you watch The Passion anytime soon, the movie itself. Above all, maybe it’ll somehow get you to reevaluate yourself and your choices.
Who knows? I for one am just happy to live in this reality. In the reality of being so so loved by a powerful and eternal God.
Phew. Thank God for Friday indeed!