Tucker was looking at my calendar and asked me what Good Friday was. I told him that it is the day that Jesus died. As I said it, I was prepared for his next question....."why is it called 'good' when something so sad happened?"
When I think of Jesus in Gethsemane, my heart practically aches. The Bible records Jesus' words as "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death." Luke says that Jesus prayed so hard that his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Jesus asked His father to "take this cup from me", knowing what was to come. Yet he added "not as I will, but as you will." He knew what he had come for, and was willing to do whatever was required.
As Jesus endured the humiliation and the pain of the beating, the scourging, and the brutal, horrific act of crucifixion, his sinless soul took on the sins of every human being. Past, present, and future. And not just the "big stuff." Little things like ingratitude, prayerlessness, unconcern for the lost, a critical spirit, hypocrisy, envy, anger, jealousy, gossip, pride.
So what is so "good" about that?
Because it should have been me. It should have been you. But he loved us *so* much that he didn't want us to endure it. So he made a way for us. An "out", if you will. That kind of love is difficult to comprehend. As a parent, I can see a glimpse of that love. I would do anything in my power to spare my children from pain or heartache. But if my children hated me, despised me and turned their back on me and called me names, denied my very existence....would I still be willing to suffer and die for them?
I think of people that choose not to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, sent from heaven above to offer us peace, direction, purpose, and a plan. (Not to mention the unspeakable gift of life forevermore!) I wonder if they deny him because they simply cannot fathom that kind of love?
On Friday I will reflect back on that day that Jesus endured the cross for me. And I will undoubtedly cry tears of thankfulness that it didn't have to be me. Tears of sorrow that Jesus had to take it all on himself.
That, my friend, is what is so good about Friday.