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What’s so good about Good Friday?
By Helen Hosier

You see them everywhere: crosses. They’ve become a fashion accessory — crosses on neck chains, dangling from key chains, on the front or back of
T-shirts, on purses… what have I forgotten? I even have a partial wall of
crosses in my living room – crosses that have been given to me through the years, decorative accessories hung alongside a glass-
covered frame holding two very old Dutch Psalm Books.
These books have a special meaning to me — one belonged to my mother, the other to her mother. They carried them to church on Sunday mornings and sang these beautiful Psalms found in the Bible set to music. These crosses on the wall are there to remind me of the one who died on an old rugged cross so long ago. That wasn’t an attractive cross. It was ugly, it was an obscenity – men were put to death on crosses. It was the most brutal kind of torture imaginable.
You may question what’s so good about the day called “Good Friday”? And some may even wonder how this relates to what I’ve said about crosses. Christians observe Good Friday in
remembrance of the day on which Jesus was put to death on a cross, preceded by a mock trial, made to
carry the cross on which he was to die, scourged, whipped, spat upon…
soldiers hammering hard spikes driven through his hands and heels. But it
wasn’t the spikes that kept him on that cross; it was his love.
It was the goodness and kindness of God, the Father, sacrificing His own son on the cross, so that the penalty of our sinfulness could be wiped out. This was love with a crown of thorns crunched down on his head. And it was all for us. It’s why Good Friday is, indeed, good.
May I suggest that this Good Friday would be a good time to read I Corinthians 15 in the Bible, considered to be one of the top 10 chapters in the Word. You can read the account of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ in the Apostle John’s Gospel Chapters 18-20. You will leave with a new and renewed awareness of what Good Friday means. When we live in light of the cross and the resurrection, we have a focus that is life changing.
The message of Easter
The message of Easter, the resurrection of Jesus, is the star in the firmament of Christianity. The death of Christ for sinful humanity is at the very foundation of the Christian faith.
Easter says that even though the crucified Christ was put in a tomb, he didn’t stay there. “He is risen!” was the message of the women who came to the tomb and found it empty, a refrain echoed by the apostles in succeeding days as the risen Christ appeared to them supplying tangible evidence to convince them of the truth of his bodily resurrection.
A poem titled “Two Mothers” by an unknown author touched my heart; I think it will do that for you also:
Long, long ago, so old legends relate,
two mothers once met at an old city gate.
“By the look in your eyes and the veil on your hair,
I see that you have known sorrow and deepest despair.”
“Ah yes,” said the one, “I once had a son,
a dear little lad full of laughter and fun.
But tell of your child…”
“Oh, I knew He was blest,
from the moment I first held Him close to my breast.
But when He, for others, was so cruelly slain,
when they crucified Him and they spat in His face,
how gladly I would have hung in His place.”
A moment of silence – “Oh, then you are she,
the mother of Christ!” and she fell on one knee.
But Mary raised her up, drawing her near,
and kissed from the cheek of the woman, a tear.
“Tell me the name of your son you loved so,
that I may share with you your grief and your woe.”
She lifted her eyes, looking straight at the other,
“He was Judas Iscariot! I am his mother!”
Women can understand the emotions of other women; the full cycle of what we, as mothers, experience with our children
is something known peculiarly to us alone. The poem helped me more fully understand that Mary was all pain; but so was the mother of the traitor.
The trouble today with the day called Easter, is that people want to have
an Easter holiday without Calvary. Another short poem is fitting for all of us at this blessed Easter:
“Lord, bend that proud and stiffnecked I,
Help me to bow the head and die;
Beholding Him on Calvary,
Who bowed his head for me.”