Both Christians and non-Christians know of Good Friday. Some know of it solely as a historical event that took place on this day, others for the spiritual event that took place on this day, and some know it simply as “the day that I get a break from work/school”. While none of these categorizations of this day are wrong, none of them acknowledge that Good Friday simply cannot just be the commemoration of a sacrifice and salvation.
In America, we have a Veterans’ Day. It honors all the brave, respectable men and women who fought to preserve the freedom of America and the people in America. The day remembers those who sacrifice(d) their lives for America’s salvation. Does this sound familiar? It should because we, as a nation, do the same thing on Good Friday: commemorate the sacrifice of the Lord of the universe for the salvation of all souls. Looking at Good Friday the same way we look at Veterans Day (however truly commendable Veterans’ Day is) likens God’s sacrifice to that made by men on a daily basis—doing so simply isn’t right.
So, while Good Friday commemorates the flogging, harassing, humiliating, and ultimately crucifying of Jesus —all of that misery coined as “Good” Friday simply because of the beyond good result that comes from the perfect Jesus’ sacrificial death: a doorway to God, accessible via trust in Jesus’ death (and resurrection three days later)—, the day is more than remembrance and even more than a call of salvation to the unbeliever; it is a call to join in a relationship with Christ. It is a plea from Jesus to each and every one of us to not waste his sacrifice by only gaining the benefit of eternal life, which is really the tip of the iceberg. Good Friday stands as a marker for the Christians’ walk with God. The first time someone truly believe and confess that belief in the death (and resurrection that come three days later) that person becomes a Christian and receives salvation. Every year after this should not feel like an annual “thank you, Jesus” and realization that our sins caused the pain he endured, but more like another daily thank you and a community remembrance and motivation to grow closer to Jesus so that his sacrifice will not only be a one-time salvation, but a full relationship with Him, the one who died for you.
In full, to me, Good Friday should not simply be kept as a remembrance ceremony, but as a community acknowledgment so as to worship Jesus and encourage each other to not miss out on a single aspect of the relationship Jesus paid so high a price to have with you and with me.
by Brianna Devadoss