What’s So Good about Good Friday?

When I was in grade school, I hated attending the Good Friday Service of Darkness.  It was dark, it was sad, and it was scary.  I hated it so much that I could barely remember that Good Friday was called “good;” I wanted to call it Bad Friday because I knew what a terrible death Jesus died.  But whenever my siblings or I complained about going to the Good Friday service, my mom would say, “You can’t have Easter without Good Friday.”

Now I have a much better understanding of what is good about Good Friday.  Yes, Jesus died, but he died for my sins.  He bore the entirety of God’s wrath against His sinful creation.  Through the shedding of His innocent blood, I have been washed clean of my sins.  All of this done out of love.  Romans 5:6-11 explains Good Friday, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die–but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.  More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”  Good Friday services are often still dark, sad, and scary for me, but I also know that it is good because Christ died for us undeserving sinners so that we could be reconciled with God.  Thanks be to Christ!

Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted (LSB 451)
Stricken, smitten, and afflicted, See Him dying on the tree!
‘Tis the Christ, by man rejected; Yes, my soul, ’tis He, ’tis He!
‘Tis the long expected Prophet, David’s Son, yet David’s Lord;
Proofs I see sufficient of it: ‘Tis the true and faithful Word.

Tell me, ye who hear Him groaning, Was there ever grief like His?
Friends through fear His cause disowning, Foes insulting His distress;
Many hands were raised to wound Him, None would intervene to save;
But the deepest stroke that pierced Him Was the stroke that justice gave.

Ye who think of sin but lightly Nor suppose the evil great
Here may view its nature rightly, Here it’s guilt may estimate.
Mark the sacrifice appointed, See who bears the awful load;
‘Tis the Word, the Lord’s anointed, Son of Man and Son of God.

Here we have a firm foundation, Here the refuge of the lost:
Christ, the Rock of our salvation, Is the name of which we boast;
Lamb of God, for sinners wounded, Sacrifice to cancel guilt!
None shall ever be confounded Who on Him their hope have built.

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