What makes Good Friday good?

April 19, 2019

Have you ever stopped to consider why Good Friday is described as “good” if that’s the day Jesus was crucified?

On the surface, “sorrowful” may appear to be a more appropriate description of the day that the sinless God-man Jesus the Christ was crucified in our place on a cruel wooden cross to pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus’ own disciples were scared, afraid and went into hiding following His crucifixion. To them, the first Good Friday must have seemed anything but good.

But what took place three days later —Resurrection Sunday — turned sorrow into joy and made Good Friday “good.” Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead validated the fact that Jesus was God and His death on Good Friday was an all-sufficient, fully atoning and acceptable sacrifice for our sins.

Another reason Good Friday is “good” is because the veil of the temple was torn in two, from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51). The curtain that had separated common man from the holy of holies, where a Holy God made His presence known, was torn in two signifying that through the sacrificial death of Jesus and His triumphant bodily resurrection, a forgiven person would now be able to come directly into the presence of God without an earthly priest to intercede on their behalf.

So, as we celebrate Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, let us reflect on the death, burial and triumphant, glorious bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. Jesus was the “sin bearer” for us. He gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice so we could be reconciled to our Father. Why? Because He loved us even while we were His enemies (Romans 5:10).

Without His sacrificial, vicarious death, there would be no resurrection, but without His resurrection, His death would have had no meaning. That is the glorious news of the gospel and it makes Good Friday a day we can celebrate.

We must spread this great news to everyone who does not understand the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday. Share with them how they can receive eternal life when they repent of their sin, ask Jesus to forgive them, trust in Him as their Savior and follow Him as Lord of their life.

In Philippians 2:8-11, we are reminded of another thing God did which helps us understand why we can call it “Good Friday.” This is one of my most favorite Scripture passages. Every time I read it, I feel more gratitude for Jesus and want to proclaim “Hallelujah, what a Savior.”

“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore, God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:8-11).


by Milton A. Hollifield Jr.  
/  Executive Director-Treasurer  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

EC names Register to new post, hears COVID-19 updates

Chuck Register, executive leader for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) Church Planting and Missions Partnerships group for the past 11 years, was named the BSCNC’s associate executive-director treasurer on Tuesday, April 7, by a vote of the state...

Spreading the gospel across cultural boundaries

If you’re familiar with North Carolina’s pockets of lostness, you probably think of circles on a map. However, if you get out and drive through one of these pockets, you’ll quickly discover that each one is made up of different groups of people. Discovering these groups is...

3 ways to engage the older generation in ministry

One of the greatest pleasures that I have as a pastor is leading our older saints in accomplishing the mission of the church. It is often assumed that older saints are past their prime and that they do not have much to offer. However, this is simply not true. There may be limits...

Pastors, come away and rest awhile

You might think it would be easier for pastors to find time for rest and replenishment during a stay-at-home order. Think again. New realities brought about by the coronavirus have created new and different challenges for life and ministry. Plus, it’s hard to shake the cultural...

4 ways to be a good neighbor

A few years ago, my family moved into a suburban neighborhood in central North Carolina. We loved the tree-lined streets, the warmth of the old homes and the idea that our kids would grow up in a picturesque neighborhood. However, the real reason we moved to our neighborhood was...

Help for churches navigating the CARES Act

To North Carolina Baptist churches seeking to apply for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program provided by the CARES Act of 2020: We know that these have been strange days for those of us engaged in ministry through the local church. We understand that the amount of...

God is moving in the midst of crisis

Throughout the centuries, the church of our Lord Jesus Christ has flourished despite challenge, opposition and persecution. We see this in the biblical accounts of the early church in the Book of Acts. Whenever followers of Christ were persecuted and scattered, the church grew....

Preaching, outreach & communion when churches can’t meet

“Five for Your Friday” is a recurring roundup of articles, videos, resources and more from around the web. Content included here is based on suggestions, input and feedback from Baptist State Convention of North Carolina staff, and it is intended to equip, encourage and challenge...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!