They were an odd pair. A man and woman who stood, watching intently, as their leader gasped out his final breaths on a cross. They came from different backgrounds. His was the sea. Hers—well, she tried to forget the things she’d done.
But this odd pair had something in common. They were drawn together by the cross. Or rather, the Man who hung on the cross. The Man who had just died.
More than 2,000 years have passed since that fateful day when John and Mary stood and watched as Jesus died. Yet Good Friday remains a pivotal moment for all of humanity.
Why is Good Friday still so important?
First, because tragedy is necessary for triumph. Good Friday demonstrates God’s method: the cross before the crown.
The Cross before the crown
Sometimes Good Friday is skipped over as our eyes turn automatically to Easter Sunday. You see, we all like happy endings. We’re tempted to minimize the bad and focus on that which makes us feel good.
But God doesn’t cater to human whims. He does not curate His Word and give us stories that contain minimal evil. Instead He triumphs over the depths of evil by ripping through the veil and hanging it for us all to see. Good Friday was the ultimate combination of shame, terror, and guilt. God didn’t hide what was happening. He made the judgment of sin an open shame.
Jesus Christ showed us that we should not forget the price and horror of evil when He asked us to remember His death (1 Corinthians 11:24b).
A lesson for life
Here we see a solid lesson for our lives. Like the day of the crucifixion, there are dark places in our lives. Moments we’d like to forget. Things we wish we hadn’t said or done. But without the tragedy, we cannot appreciate the triumph.
God does not ask us to forget the holes from which He dug us. Instead, we are called to surrender ourselves to His transforming power and use the evident change in our lives as opportunities to testify to the power that works in us (Eph. 3:20-21).
A day of deliverance
Finally, Good Friday is important because it forever broke the power of sin that held humanity in chains. As a francophone, I call this day Holy Friday (Vendredi Saint) which I think drives home the point that a part of the divine purpose was accomplished. And that purpose was freedom.
Looking at a world that is bound with the chains of violence, perversion, and fear, it might be difficult to accept that. But the power of Calvary is selective—it only applies to those who approach it with true faith.
The truth is that every human has the right to claim freedom and hope despite the oppression of evil. That an offering was made to open the door for a new beginning in Christ.
The world rejects this message and, as such, lives in the shadow of fear. But as individuals we are given the privilege to choose freedom. In my own life, I see its effect every day and am so grateful to identify with the Man who died on that cross.
I invite you to do the same.
Good Friday is still important. No matter how many millennia go by, this day will not be forgotten. Not by those who have experienced its power.