It was a very good day!
I’ve always wondered why it’s called “Good Friday”! After all, a man hung on a cross in the hot Middle Eastern sun for three long hours before death mercifully came to claim him. How can that be “good”?
The other side of the question for me is how selfish it is for us to call it “Good Friday”. It’s good for us because we are the beneficiaries of His willingness to take our place in the hot Middle Eastern sun trying desperately to breath while crying out to a Heavenly Father who seems to have abandoned Him. I shudder when I permit my mind to image what He must have endured. And I can’t even truly conceive the idea that what He did. . . He did for me. Once and for all!
The price of love. . .
It was done out of love. A love none of us can really understand.
There are times in life when we are exceedingly altruistic. When we do deeply loving things about which we don’t count the cost. We simply do them because something deep in our hearts tells us it’s the right thing to do.
We reach out to another who is hurting and the words we utter bring healing, strength and courage. We go out of our way to meet the needs of someone we barely know because it simply “feels right”. We dig deep in our pockets and make a gift that is truly sacrificial because to not do so would haunt us for a very long time!
Yet none of these sincere caring compassionate acts of “love” come near that which occurred on a Friday we now call “good”. None of them cost us very much. Some time to speak the words to the hurting that we could have spent in other more productive ways. Taking a detour in life to meet another’s need is simply a blip on our radar screens. And the gift from our resources often comes back to us 2, 4, 10 fold.
The love that came to be known as “Good Friday” is a love we can never humanly emulate. It’s love that seeks the beloved unto death. The death of one who says “I’ll do it because it’s my purpose. The purpose for which I came!” It’s love for which relationship is the ultimate outcome.
Can you imagine a relationship being so vitally important that you would permit a beloved child to suffer death in such a horrific way? A death for which the beloved is innocent of wrong doing? A death that is vicariously substitutional. A death that is the end game planned since day one?
I can’t! I doubt many can. . .
The Ultimate Outcome. . .
We are fortunate in that we know the rest of the story. We know how the divine drama ends. We celebrate that it ended on a grace note that benefits both the Man who died and those of us who can call the day “Good”. The endgame ended well. The tears of Friday resolved in the joy of the 1st day of the week.
On Good Friday, I try to imagine how it must have been that day over 2000 years ago. I think of Mary and how tragic for her to watch as they put her son to death. A cruel painful death. And all she could do is watch. . . and weep.
I think of John who stayed faithful to the last breath He breathed. John choking back tears as he graciously agreed to be son to Mary.
I think of those who had followed the Man throughout his three year ministry. Those who thought the kingdom of which He spoke was an earthly kingdom. Their false dreams dashed on the rocky hillside called Golgotha.
And I think of the Lord as He cried out in pain and in the anguish of feeling abandoned by the Father in whose house He lived each day of His earthly life. How absolutely bereft. A pain more painful than the physical wounds that slowly took his human life. Yet He ‘lived out’ His own words. . . “for the sake of the glory that lay ahead!”
The ultimate outcome is good. Very good. Good for Jesus, the Lord of our lives. Good for us who are the recipients of His divine life once we accept the gift He is as Lord and Savior.
As we go about Good Friday 2017, let us take moments to reflect on love. Love that no human can imagine; yet a love that divinely graces our lives because that hot Middle Eastern day was a very good day!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
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