What sort of things comes to mind when you think of “good”? A vacation? A pay raise or promotion? Child’s report card? An unexpected blessing?
The one thing each of these thoughts has in common is that they are positive. Yet when we talk about Good Friday, we refer to the events that led to Jesus’ death. This doesn’t sound good.
It was just after midnight, in the early hours of Friday morning, when Judas betrayed Jesus, and Jesus is arrested (Matthew 26:47-56). Then Jesus stands trial before Annas, Caiaphas, and the Sanhedrin (Matthew 26:57-68). Later Friday morning, Jesus stood trial before Pilate, then Herod Antipas, then back to Pilate, who sentenced Jesus to death (Matthew 27:11-26).
And as the rest of Jerusalem becomes aware of what happened under the cloak of darkness, Jesus is beaten by Roman soldiers beyond recognition and taken to Golgotha Hill, and crucified between two thieves (Matthew 27:27-44).
As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea requested to take Jesus’ body down before the Sabbath began and to place Him into a prepared tomb (Luke 23:50-56).
At face value, there is nothing good and this series of events. Jesus was an innocent man who came to teach people about God and let those who felt unworthy know that God loved them. He was convicted of no crime, and out of jealousy, the religious leaders inspired His unsubstantiated conviction and sentencing.
His closest followers and those who knew Him are now in disarray as they see these unspeakable events unfold. And as He is hung on a criminal’s cross, their hopes and dreams are dying with Him.
But, as He foretold, this is not the end of the story. A lot can happen in three days. The best is yet to come! The beauty of life will arise from the ashes of death as we await Sunday morning!