What’s so good about Good Friday?
Good Friday is an ancient Christian holiday commemorating the day Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, died, and was buried. It may seem strange at first glance to call such a day “good.” What could be good about the unjust execution of the only perfectly loving human that ever lived? While the actions of those who crucified Christ were indeed evil, God had a greater purpose for the death of Christ: the salvation of the world.
You see, death is God’s judgment, God’s curse, on all who turn from him, and therefore all of us live under that curse apart from some intervention on God’s part. Jesus Christ is that intervention. Though he lived a perfect life, he received the curse of death that WE deserved so that we might receive the blessing of eternal life that HE deserved.
The apostle Paul summarized it well when he said, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us — for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’” (Galatians 3:13). We call Good Friday ‘good’ because of what Jesus accomplished for us through his death. As the church Father Athanasius once wrote: Jesus became what we are so that we could become what He is. That Friday truly was good, yet it’s only ultimately good because of what happened next…