Should Christians focus on worshiping Jesus who suffered or Jesus who rose from the dead?
As we move through Lent and approach Holy Week we anticipate a series of significant days: Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter (which some call Resurrection Sunday). The last two of these days, Good Friday and Easter stand as momentous occasions for all those who follow Jesus.
Though Christians worldwide acknowledge both as significant days that are essential to their faith, they tend to place more emphasis on one over the other. Indeed some choose to worship the suffering Savior, while others focus their attention on the risen Savior. For the first group, Good Friday is their solemn day of remembrance, with Easter as secondary. The other group breezes past Good Friday to arrive at Easter, the pinnacle day for their faith.
In reality, we need both Good Friday and Easter. Without Good Friday, we couldn’t have Easter and without Easter, Good Friday wouldn’t matter.
Jesus needed to die in order to cover all our mistakes and reconcile us with God. He also needed to rise from the dead, to resurrect, proving his mastery over death. We need both death and resurrection. Jesus needed to die as our ultimate sacrifice to end all sacrifices and he needed to live again to show that his death wasn’t the end but a new beginning, both for him and for us.
Let’s balance our faith practices by placing equal emphasis on Jesus as our Savior who died and who rose from the dead. We need both Good Friday and Easter. May our observances this year show that reality.
Thank you Jesus for dying for us so we don’t have to pay for our mistakes, and thank you Jesus for overcoming death for us so we can, too.
Do you prefer Good Friday observances or Easter celebrations? Why? What might you do differently this year for Holy Week? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
[This is from Peter DeHaan‘s March newsletter, “Spiritually Speaking.” Receive the complete newsletter each month.]