Lessons from Good Friday
French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr coined the phrase “the more things change, the more they remain the same.” This saying is a reference to situations that appear on the surface to be a meaningful change but the underlying fundamentals are still the same. This aphorism has much relevance connecting the events on Good Friday to the present day.
Good Friday is the day Christians remember how Jesus Christ willingly suffered and died by the cruel Roman method of crucifixion as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Easter Sunday is the glorious day of resurrection where Jesus rose from the dead obtaining victory over sin and death.
The term Good Friday is a misnomer for many and not all Christian traditions call it Good Friday. German Christians refer to the day as Karfreitag, “Sorrowful Friday.” The day is observed in many places as a day of penance, fasting, and sorrow. As horrible as the historic day was, it was necessary for us to experience the victory of Easter.
The Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, describe the mock trial that took place beginning in the early morning hours of Friday after Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. This trial was the greatest miscarriage of justice the world has known.
The self-righteous religious leaders stirred up the mindless mob against Jesus, even including known lies and gossip as fact. In today’s world this would be a social media flash mob where many voices would be interjected spouting their animosities, prejudices, and downright hatred because they are absent of facts. Proverbs 3:30 tells us, “Do not accuse anyone without cause, when he has done you no harm.” Jesus harmed no one.
It is incomprehensible to me how a person could so hate another to want to destroy him/her particularly based on lies and gossip. It is also puzzling how the self-righteous endeavor to dispel independent thought through shaming and virtue signaling. A person doesn’t have to look far to see these same things played out today. “Acquitting the guilty and condemning the just, both are detestable to the Lord” (Provers 17:15).
The prophet Jeremiah declared, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Good Friday reveals the wickedness of our hearts and the shamelessness of our actions. It seems evident we need a heart change.
The Good News of Good Friday is “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).