As I read this morning the account of Jesus being tried, mocked, and crucified, I kept thinking about the people who don’t understand, care, or know about Good Friday. According to one report, I saw 99% of Japanese have never even heard of Easter. Just from the friends I have, I can bet there are a large percentage of Americans who have little to no idea what Easter is all about, let alone Good Friday.
I’m thinking about all that people miss out on when they don’t understand, celebrate, and reflect on Good Friday:
* True sacrifice
* Real love
* Undeterred hope
* Undaunted courage
* Shame turned to joy
* Despair turned to a better future, both now and eternally
Without knowing what Jesus accomplished — for you and me — people can’t possibly understand the depth of all of the above.
I tried to understand these things without the cross.
It didn’t work.
Now, I know, and I want others to know the depth and beauty of this horrific day, where Jesus felt true abandonment from the God of the universe, His Father. I want others to know what real love looks like, where Jesus was bloodied and beaten just so you and I could live. I want others to know actual passion, where Jesus felt the agony and the weight and the pain of it all, just to atone and remedy what we had failed to do. I want others to know the feeling of despair turning into a brighter, hope-filled morning.
What Jesus did on the cross today almost 2000 years ago, is for you, me, and those who have no idea what Easter and Good Friday is all about.
The reason I do what I do — being a Junior High Pastor — is to show these young ones what it means to embrace the realities of a Good Friday. And eventually, the realities of an Easter hope.
Jesus is our hope. That’s why it’s a Good Friday.
That’s what we look forward to on Easter.