Good Friday. The day of Jesus’ death. The day an innocent man received an unjust sentence and a guilty man got off scot-free. The day a man lost his friends, his family, and his dignity. I wonder who on that day would have imagined it would ever come to be revered as ‘good’.
Of course, we see the whole event as those looking back on one day out of one weekend in one man’s life. Friday led to Saturday and Saturday to Easter Sunday. Perhaps the disciples were crushed by the moment, but the moment passed. The story of Easter, of a saviour come to rescue his people, his creation – in love – is a collection of moments, one after the other.
That Friday – Death Friday – a tribe and a city were rocked, temporarily masking the true death that day, that of death itself. When Jesus left the tomb on the Sunday and appeared to his friends and disciples, the crushing moment that was Friday was rearranged, reinterpreted, recast into the story that would compel them to leave their homes and tell it to the world. The Good Teacher had died and through his death his goodness became accessible to everyone. On that Friday the worst of us and the rest of us could be made Good.
Life comes to us in moments but is weaved together into a story. Jesus’ life is a collection of moments, points in history that happened. These moments surprised, excited, confused, scared, and angered people. And when we look at these moments in history we see the grand story rise out from them. It is a story both predating those moments and also yet unfinished.
The story of Easter is Good News. It is our gospel. We are a part of it, and we are a messenger for it. Life’s moments may temporarily obscure our view of our story and, ultimately, his story. But yet, his story remains. On Easter Sunday – A Ha! Sunday – the story swallowed up the moment. Uncertainty gave way to clarity; despair acceded to hope. The promise in the narrative is that our moments will never swamp our story. Jesus’ death and resurrection will always give us hope. Our story will be forever caught up in His story, and that story is worth talking about.
Good Friday. The day of Jesus’ death. The day a guilty man got off scot-free whilst an innocent man stood in my place. The day I was handed my friends, my family, and my dignity. Who, I wonder, could imagine a more apt name for it?