Mark 10:34 – And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again. (KJV)
It’s always been hard for me to understand “Good” Friday.
As a kid I remember going to church on a Friday night, only to experience a sorrowful and gruesome sermon with no music or fellowship. At the end of the service, the lights would be shut off and everyone would walk out in silence. Calling this “good” was a confusing oxymoron and seemed like a terrible misrepresentation. I couldn’t grasp the importance of setting aside this time only to wallow in the bleak, ugly reality of the crucifixion. Why do we need to take time to reflect on the suffering and pain that plagued Jesus when we know that he rose from the dead and lives?
As I experience Holy Week this year, I’ve been trying to put myself in the mindset of Jesus’s followers of the time. Throughout Jesus’s life, he foreshadowed to them what was to come but no one could comprehend the larger picture. Completely at a loss for the true realities, his disciples were at best falling asleep on him, and at worst, betraying and turning him over to the authorities. Could you imagine the guilt and anguish they felt when the Roman’s nailed Jesus to the cross? They must have been so confused as they struggled with pangs of doubt. Was He truly Lord? If so, why was this happening? Why didn’t He stop it? Why did He have to suffer this way? What was to come of them as followers of this man? With so much initial hope in Jesus, they must have felt so alone and fearful without a savior.
For three days, Jesus’s followers were beside themselves overcome with painful grief. When I think of them I want to grab them by the shoulders and tell them it’ll be okay. The story has the most beautiful ending and this will all be over soon, just be patient and trust in God’s plan.
There are many “good” lessons to be understood from Good Friday. On this day we appreciate the fact that Jesus’s trial, punishment and death brought our salvation and though it was a confusing time, it had to happen in order for God’s promise to be fulfilled on Easter morning. We are similar to Jesus’s followers of the day because we struggle with doubt and sometimes fail to understand the full picture of God’s glory. This is a lesson in patience. Easter morning will come.
God, just like the follower’s in Jesus’s day, we too are often blinded by our sin and doubt. As we take time to reflect on the suffering and pain that plagued Jesus, remind us that you are a God of fulfilled promises. Even today, remind us that you are all-knowing with plans beyond our comprehension. Help us to have patience and understand that despite the agonizing scene we remember on Good Friday, we are never without our savior. In your holy name we pray, Amen.
This devotion was written by Kim Afrank as a way to encourage women to know, love and serve God.
Connections Café tips this month go to support Sheridan’s Women’s Ministry.