So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. John 19
Today is most widely known as Good Friday – God’s Friday. Others include Black Friday, Great Friday, Easter Friday, and Holy Friday.
I have another I’d like to suggest; I pulled it from Rebekah’s message at our Maundy Thursday communion service: Dark Friday. And it’s an especially fitting designation today as Wake Forest is rainy and overcast, with a deepening blackness in the sky, forecast to continue through the late evening.
But most importantly this is a day that calls for some response in terms of our own personal walk with God. Regardless of the name, Dark Friday only holds meaning if the One who gave so much by being willing to suffer on our behalf is a God of any consequence to us.
This is one reason I have always encouraged my readers, participants in my Sunday morning class, members of the men’s ministry, and those who use Reaching Toward Easter to be more deliberate and intentional in the observance of Lent, the 40-plus days leading up to Good Friday and Easter.
Does our faithfulness honor Christ’s sacrifice?
Good Friday – Dark Friday – becomes more authentic as a faith experience to the extent we are walking closely with the Jesus who was so brutally tortured and who loves us enough to say, “Derek, if this is what it takes to open the door for you to be reconciled to the Father then I will willingly go to the cross.”
But then I wonder, and I expressed it this way one weekend when speaking in front of a group of men, “Imagine Jesus on the cross, experiencing such tortuous agony, looking out through history and seeing us, gathered here in this room. Imagine him looking into the faces and the souls of each one of us. Imagine Christ’s awareness in that moment of who we are as Christian men, how we follow him, how faithful we are as witnesses, how serious we are in our discipleship. Imagine Jesus with all that in mind, hanging on the cross, and thinking, ‘I am going through all this agony of body and soul for this? Do they even begin to understand the level of transformation I had – I have – in mind!’”
This is what makes this Friday Good, or God’s, or Black, or Great, or Dark. The impact of today is a response to our love for Jesus, our commitment to follow, our life of faithful witness.
What do you call today? “Good Friday…” or “Take it or leave it – whatever – day….”?
Peace, in every corner of your soul – DEREK