Christian Living

Embracing Good Friday

We Revere Jesus’s Death So We Can Celebrate His Resurrection

I’m never sure of what verb to attach to Good Friday. It’s a Christian holiday, a holy day.

Though I do sometimes say celebrate Good Friday, it doesn’t seem like the right word. Neither does happy Good Friday, even though the outcome for us is a happy one.

We celebrate Christmas, and we celebrate Easter. These are grand expressions filled with delight and joy. We rejoice and we throw a spiritual party for God. Not so with Good Friday.

Yes, we can celebrate the truth that Jesus died in our place for the things we’ve done wrong. I’m most grateful for him providing the ultimate sin sacrifice to end all sacrifices.

And I celebrate even more what happens three days later when he defeats death by rising from the dead.

Though I don’t think I’ve ever said it, perhaps remember Good Friday might be a more appropriate sentiment. When we remember what Jesus did for us, we do so with solemn reverence.

His great sacrifice for us—even though we don’t deserve it—drives us to silence.

Other words might be to commemorate Good Friday or to observe Good Friday. To me, however, these descriptors are too formal. They push Good Friday to a stoic distance.

I don’t want that. I want to feel—though to a small degree—Jesus’s pain, suffering, and sacrifice. I want Good Friday to remind me of this greatest of all struggles that Jesus did for me, that Jesus did for us.

And in this way, I do celebrate Good Friday, albeit with reverence, awe, and remorse. And I’ll keep hold of that feeling for a few days until it’s time to celebrate Easter.

As you consider these thoughts, here are some other posts about Good Friday:

Discover more about celebrating Jesus and his passion to save us in Peter’s new book, The Passion of Jesus. It is part of the Holiday Celebration Bible Study Series.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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