“Good” Friday?

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

Friday before Easter….”Good Friday.”  Those two words used together used to bother me.  I would wonder, “If Jesus endured such inhumane suffering on this day, then how in the world could we refer to such a day as good?”  No, it was not a good day for Jesus on that Friday before Passover.  

Years later, the Apostle Paul would write to the suffering, persecuted church in Rome, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  One wonder’s what the Roman believers must have made of such a statement, living under the tyrannical rule of the Emperors Claudius and now Nero.  At least some of them must have thought, “Good?  What could possibly be good about the manner in which we are living?”  They were starving in famine, they were locked up in prisons, and they were driven from their homes and banished from Rome along with the Jews.  Eventually, under Nero, they would be unjustly blamed as arsonists for the “Great Fire” and would be murdered and burned by the thousands.  Good?

On this “Good Friday” perhaps you are going through “bad” times.  You may be currently experiencing the worst times of your life.  Your present suffering probably seems unjust, unfair, and you may be wondering if there is indeed anything in life that is truly “good.”

It must be clearly understood that no part of the humanity in the Lord Jesus relished what He was about endure.  In the garden, we’re told that He prayed so hard that He sweated great drops of blood.  He pled with His Father, if there was any other way, to “let this cup pass from me.”  Paul had to endure many hardships during his ministry and missions, including what he refered to as his “thorn in the flesh,” about which he implored God to remove from him.

No.  Romans 8:28 never says that all things will be good for the believer or for the one whose faith is in Christ.  What it says is that God Himself will work all things “together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  Why?  Because He is Himself, by His very nature…..GOOD!  He can do no other than to cause even the horrible to work together with the pleasurable for the ultimate good of those who put their trust in Him.

That Friday, our Lord… beaten unrecognizable, with flesh hanging from His back, a cruel crown of thorns peircing His brow, spikes driven through His wrists into a rough hewn cross and left to hang naked and die in the baking Middle Eastern Sun, worked the very most possible and concievable good ever for those who would simply love Him and trust Him enough to surrender to God’s purpose.  And what was God’s purpose?  To love us more than we could imagine.  Enough to give up His only begotten Son so that those who were not good could receive the gift of good and be set free. 

That makes that Friday, not only a good day, but the best day.  It was on that Friday that Jesus declared the work of redemption….“finished!”  And because of that, we can all call today a….GOOD FRIDAY!


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