Today is Good Friday.
This term, “Good Friday,” has caused no shortage of consternation at our dinner table over the years.
“What is good about Good Friday?”
Thea has a particular issue with the terminology. “Jesus died! A horrible, mean, painful death! He died and He didn’t even do anything wrong! It should be called ‘Crappy Friday’ or ‘Saddest Friday Ever’ or ‘Unfair Friday.'”
Point taken. All those adjectives work too.
Easter has not been the easiest holiday to explain to my kids as they have grown. When you throw in concepts like “propitiation” and “sacrifice” and “atonement,” we all tend to get a little muddled. By the end of such conversations, I usually end up with one kid asking when we get to hunt for eggs, one kid thumping another on the forehead with his/her thumb and forefinger (see: need for atonement), and another telling me to pass the Peeps.
When I was in high school, I remember having a conversation with a friend about why we crazy Christians clung to Easter so much. Couldn’t we just skip that death and resurrection part, my friend asked. Wasn’t Jesus just as a great of a man and teacher without it? Wasn’t all He said still true, even if He didn’t rise from the dead?
I didn’t know what to say when I was sixteen and pretty much scared of everything.
But now I’m super old and I would say that no, we can’t skip that part.
That’s the part about new life, about battered, dead, broken things coming alive.
It’s the part that shows me to deep reservoirs of grace, and the older I get, the deeper I need those reservoirs to be.
It’s the part that defies the logic of what my sin and my emptiness and my brokenness should bring me and instead sweeps out the filthy corners of my heart, opens the heavy curtains, and lets fresh air and sunlight flood in.
I’m not a theologian or an apologist or a pastor or anything else that could impress you. I’m just a hot mess that clings to the story of Easter because I don’t know anyone else who would do what Jesus did for me. And I need Him to bring my dead heart back to beating.
It truly is a really, really Good Friday.
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