Finding the Good in Good Friday

Visiting the Blog Archives today.


We are not built for everyone’s bad news, or are we?

Day after day, bad news streams into our lives.

Just this week:

With technology at our fingertips, we now “see” and “hear” everyone’s difficult, bad, heart-wrenching news. On the one hand, it keeps us informed. On the other hand, it keeps us overwhelmed. We aren’t physically or emotionally built to bear everyone’s bad news.

But, there is Someone who can bear everyone’s bad news and who helps us bear bad news.

Who is this man, Jesus?

The earliest known use of “guode friday” is found in The South English Legendary, a text from around 1290, according to the dictionary. According to the Baltimore Catechism – the standard US Catholic school text from 1885 to the 1960s, Good Friday is good because Christ “showed His great love for man, and purchased for him every blessing”.

The crucifixion is a mystery. Baffling and bewildering.

So very hard to wrap your head around, yet, when you do, it opens “an insight into the person of Jesus Christ” which changes absolutely everything.

All week, we’ve been asking ourselves the question posed in Matthew 21:10-11, “Who is this?” By placing ourselves in the actual scene, we’ve considered, “Who is this man, Jesus, in my life?”

Finding the Good in Good FridayWhat does “good” really mean?

Today, let’s place ourselves in the climax of Jesus’s story: the Crucifixion, reading in Matthew 27:32-66. Download this simple guide and join me in reading through this in Lectio Divina tradition.

After reading, did you find the good in Good Friday? In order to do this, I had to ask myself one question:

  1. Is my definition of “good” the same as God’s definition of “good”?
    Read how God redefined “good” for me in December 2013: God Redefines Good.

Good defined (n), “profit or advantage; worth; benefit.”

How we answer this question tells us everything. It reveals how we perceive God and ultimately reveals how we perceive our day-to-day life. Complex and simple all at the same time. In Lectio Divina, Author and Spiritual Director, Christine Valters Paintner helps us out here. I see her equating “good” with “contentment,” and in doing so, helps us see the good in Good Friday:

Contentment doesn’t mean we are always happy about life events or deny the reality of pain. We cultivate contentment by cultivating the inner witness who is able to respond to life from a place of calmness, peace and tranquility. It means we honor what is given us in any moment is enough. So it is the ‘still heart’—the heart of equanimity—that can welcome everything in. Instead of always living with a sense of dissatisfaction about our lives, or anticipation over what comes next, we live in the knowledge that this moment contains everything we need to be at peace, to experience freedom, to develop compassion for ourselves and others, to find God.”

Finding the good in Good Friday.

So, then, how do we find the good in Good Friday? It looked like “bad news” when in fact, it was good news. How can this be? How is there anything good in this tragic, horrific act of violence towards a man who had done nothing but fulfill his purpose?

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus cries out to his Father:

Finding the good in Good Friday

On the cross, he cries out, again:

Finding the Good in Good FridayIn the same breath of anguish, we read in Luke’s account (Luke 23:46) that Jesus accepts, surrenders and finishes the work He was called to do:

Finding the good in Good Friday

To many, Jesus was “just a prophet.” But to others, he was the promised Messiah.

Who is Jesus to you? I’ve been asking myself that question all week.

The answer to that question reveals everything, doesn’t it?

The answer gives insight into how we find the good in Good Friday—and every day that follows.

Join me today, over on our Speak Healing Words Facebook page, 4pmEST, where we will talk more about finding the good in Good Friday. I can’t wait!

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