What does Good Friday mean? Or why do we say this Friday is “Good” in the Christian calendar?
It’s not because we Christians are so good, only ever doing and saying what is right and pleasing to God. If we had been really and truly good there would have been no need for a Savior in Christ Jesus. But the Scriptures say “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Good Friday marks the day when Jesus was crucified. And that may be a puzzle and riddle after a fashion, but it has an answer.
Few things are more opposite “good” than the wrongful accusation, arrest, trial, flogging, mocking, and execution of good men. Yet that is what we celebrate on Good Friday. So how can we Christians celebrate this? And how can we call it “good”?
We call it good in this case, in short, because God is good.
It was due to God’s goodness relative our lack of goodness that we who are in Christ were and are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, the only perfect sacrifice which could have been offered to atone for our sins against the Holy and Righteous God against whom we stood condemned and hopeless.
Non-Christians often struggle with the fact of the imperfection of Christian life and thought, sometimes imagined and other times real. Christianity can’t be true if Christians aren’t good in the sense of moral perfection, as they reckon.
But that view misses the point that the promises of God are contingent not on our faithfulness and ability to make them true on our own finite power, but on the faithfulness and ability of God to fulfill His promises by His infinite power. And thankfully His grace is sufficient for us, or else there would indeed be no hope.
To be sure, the response from faithful and obedient Christians to the imperfection of the Church body and individuals must not be to shrug. Rather, it must be to confess and repent. The response must not be to “sin that grace might abound all the more,” but to press on in pursuit of the high calling we are blessed to answer in Christ.
In light of that calling we do repent when we sin against God and our neighbor, and only in light of that high calling is restoration and fellowship possible.
“Why do you call me good?” Luke’s gospel account tells us Jesus asked the man who came to him calling him “good teacher.” The reason for the challenge followed immediately after when Jesus said, “Only God is good.”
Just so, that is the reason we celebrate Good Friday and call it a good day – because what corrupt men meant for evil, God has fulfilled, is fulfilling, and will fulfill His promises to work to the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. And all of this because “Only God is good.”
That goes for Mark Driscoll as well as JD Hall – however genuine or not apologies are offered and received for bad attitudes and bad behavior.
And that goes for you as well as for me too.
“It is finished,” Jesus said at the last before he died. But then he rose again after three days, conquering not only sin but death also, and restoring those whose names are found in the Book of Life to a right standing with the Father.
If that is not good, then I don’t know what else ever could be.
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