“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Today is Good Friday. This name for the Friday before Easter is not the God-given name for the day. You won’t find the term “Good Friday” in the Bible. It is a name that God followers throughout history have come to associate with this day. In a way it appalls me to call the day Jesus was tortured and died “Good Friday.” Shouldn’t it instead be Black Friday … Grievous Friday … Fearful Friday … Failure Friday … or maybe that day deserves to be the one day with no name.
I don’t think I will ever be able to call the day that Becky died “Good Wednesday.” It would be an affront if someone was bold enough to call that day “Good.” And yet, in a tangible, “within my ability to grasp it” way, the day that Jesus died helps me to know how something that is the worst most catastrophic event can become the best thing that ever happened in the hands of God. We never would’ve called this Friday “Good” without the shocking truth of the resurrection following hard upon the heels of the day of death. The sure knowledge that Jesus’ death and restoration to vibrant life wasn’t just about Him, but also applies to us, makes His worst Friday ever the best Friday we can possibly know.
Death surrounds me. In just the past couple of weeks I’ve seen several people I love lose to death someone they love dearly. Joining in their grief has raised my own sorrow level again and I simply miss Becky. But at the same time the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection affirms that Becky is alive. I love Easter Sunday! But let’s call it what it is: Resurrection Sunday or Life Sunday or Eternal life Sunday or Victory Sunday! On that day I sense that I stand in a ‘thin place’ – a place where all Saints from all of time and eternity stand together in joyful celebratory worship of the One who conquered death. He is risen! He is risen indeed!
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39