After hearing the story of Easter in Sunday School for the first time, a middle school teen sat still and stared at the floor. She had listened intently and was saddened by the way Jesus was treated on “Good Friday.” The teacher noticed her puzzlement and asked what was wrong.
The teen looked up, “I am really trying to understand what was good about Good Friday.
Wasn’t that the day Jesus was crucified and died?
Crucifixion was the cruelest form of punishment reserved for murders and other heinous crimes that He didn’t do.
Didn’t Jesus’ family and friends cry and wonder what happened?
Didn’t Jesus cry out to God and ask why He was abandoned?
Didn’t the soldiers beat him?
Didn’t one of the thieves next to him on the cross mock him?
Didn’t Jesus’ own people and religious leaders reject him?
Didn’t the Earth become dark and the ground and rocks spilt?
Wasn’t it scary when people came out of their graves?
And then Jesus dies.
Yes, He was resurrected on Easter, I get that, but why don’t we call Good Friday, Black or Dark or Terrible Friday. Seems like a better name. “
The Sunday School teacher paused. The teen had a point. What happened to Jesus on Good Friday did not sound very good. She realized she had more to explain.
“The reason Good Friday was good was because Jesus willingly (He could have called His angels to rescue Him, remember?) sacrificed and suffered for us. There was a purpose in all that suffering. He knew that purpose and was obedient, even unto death. He took our sin to that cross so that we could be saved and forgiven. Without His sacrifice, we could not be justified to God.
On that day, it looked like evil won, but Easter reminds us that this is not true. Jesus triumphed over the grave. Death could not keep Him and He rose again!