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Good Friday's Already Good: Don't be scared!

Good Friday, as the name might possibly give away, is a very good day indeed. And that means we don't have to be embarrassed, scared, or uncomfortable about this, one of the preeminent days of the Christian calendar.

Embarrassed, scared, or uncomfortable? How could that be when we celebrate Good Friday with our Facebook statuses and even the possible thought of going to church?, you ask. And I reply that, yes, even amidst the Facebook status updates and thoughts of maybe going to church, even while (to an extent) embracing Good Friday, sometimes we still show ourselves to be embarrassed, scared and uncomfortable.

After all, we wouldn't dream of just possibly thinking about maybe going to church to celebrate the Resurrection on Easter Sunday (even those who only show up twice a year know how important the Resurrection is).

But even more than that, what  about when we actually make it to a Good Friday service, update our Facebook status in a seasonably appropriate way, or pay any much attention to the day (other than as a bank holiday of course) at all? Then our embarrassments, fears and discomfort can really have the opportunity to shine through. How? By trying to make Good Friday Good and forgetting that it's Good already!

We so easily turn ourselves into apologists for Good Friday, but when we do, the day loses its true meaning. We decide we want to brighten up the decor ("after all, black's a bit gloomy"), cheer up the songs ("death's a bit depressing"), chase out the quietness, and generally make Friday Good by skipping over Friday. "It's Friday, but Sunday's coming", people enthusiastically proclaim, as if Friday has no goodness of its own.

Now, don't get me wrong - the Cross and the Resurrection, Good Friday and Easter - belong inseparably together. But that doesn't require an "It's Friday, but Sunday's coming" attitude. For Friday itself is Good! Perhaps not good in the way the world thinks of goodness, but Good in the only way that truly matters - God's way; for on Good Friday God displayed His goodness by demonstrating His love for us on the Cross where Jesus bore the wrath for us, in our place.

We don't need to be embarrassed, scared or uncomfortable on Good Friday, trying to skip over it to Easter Sunday with an "It's Friday, but Sunday's coming" attitude, because on Good Friday Jesus declared "It is finished!" - on Good Friday Jesus bore our sins in His body on the Tree; on Good Friday Jesus defeated death, hell and the devil; on Good Friday Jesus made an end to our sin forever through His once and for all sacrifice for us on the Cross. Isn't that sufficient reason to celebrate Good Friday for Good Friday (rather than merely a case of "Sunday's coming")!

You see, Good Friday is Good, we don't need to make it Good. And perhaps our attitudes to Good Friday tell us something about our ideas of goodness. We so often associate "good" with power and strength, yet on Good Friday we see God's goodness displayed in weakness, suffering and death. Yet, it's only through this weakness, suffering and death that we find true life, true power, and true strength.

So don't be embarrassed, scared or uncomfortable by the difference between our (sin tainted) notions of goodness, and God's true goodness. Don't be embarrassed by the weakness and foolishness of the Cross, for it's God's wisdom and His salvation.

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