Why Good Friday is considered a good day

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Good Friday seems to be an odd name for a day on which our Lord Jesus was killed and suffered terribly. Still, we consider Good Friday to be a good day in many ways, and so did Jesus, even though His soul was troubled. May this brief article serve as an encouragement and joyful reminder of this amazing truth.

Jesus knew that He was born so that through His life here on earth He would shine light in darkness and demonstrate Who God is. But He also knew that His death and resurrection would be necessary to bring all the people who believe in Him to God (John 3:13-18).

Suffering is never pleasant, especially not the kind Jesus had to endure. Naturally, Jesus wasn’t looking forward to that part of His journey (John 12:27). To bear it, He kept His eyes on the joy that would come through the suffering: eternal glory and the salvation of many (Hebrews 12:2).
Being like Jesus includes reflecting on His suffering – and our own – in the same way. We don’t focus on what we see here on earth but look forward to what is unseen with joyful hope.

Jesus shared the foreknowledge of the amazing amount of good fruit He would produce through His death by telling a parable. He said: “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain, but if it dies it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:24-25, NRSV)

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Photo of a seed sprouting the beginnings of a tree. The text reads: Why is Good Friday considered a "good" day? DanielleBernice.com

I find that such a beautiful analogy: A seed has to die in the earth before it can sprout and bring new life. Similarly, Jesus was “sown” by God as He descended from heaven to earth, and was buried for three days and three nights before He rose again (Matthew 12:40, Ephesians 4:9).

What you sow does not come to life unless it dies, Paul wrote (1 Corinthians 15:36). You lose the seed, but you gain so much more, because: “What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power (1 Corinthians 15:42b-43, ESV). That is why we don’t mourn over the dying seed, but rejoice over the life-giving tree that emerges from it!

The Seed that brings new life

When Jesus died, He gave up His Spirit so that He could live in the hearts of those who believe in Him – those who have faith that He died and rose again for their sins.
Therefore the living and enduring Word of God, Jesus, God’s imperishable seed, lives in us who have this faith. And as we live through, in, for, and by His imperishable Word, we persevere through the many trials this world throws at us, and share in His eternal life (1 Peter 1:3-7, 23-25, John 3:36).

His Holy Spirit helps us grow in God’s image, carrying the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). On top of all that, He is also our Helper, providing us with strength, comfort, wisdom, and much more in times of need (John 16:7, Acts 9:31, Romans 15:13, 1 Corinthians 2). None of this would have happened if Jesus had not died on Good Friday.

Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we now know that the suffering in this world is nothing compared to the incomprehensible eternal joy waiting for us (Romans 8:16-18, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
Therefore, we should have hope and look at the joyful bigger picture – beyond what is transient. Just like Jesus, Who wanted the people closest to Him to rejoice in the fact that He was going to the Father, instead of focusing on the sorrow of His passing (John 14:28).

Jesus wants us to know that even though the enemy meant His death for evil, God meant it for good: “to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20b, ESV).
Because once we were dead in sin, but in His great mercy and love, God made us alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:1-6). His death opened the door for you, me, and many others to live in eternal joy with Him…

… and that is why Good Friday is a good day!

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Photo of a branch on a dark background with bright budding blossom to signify new life and light in darkness. With the text: Why Good Friday is a good day, DanielleBernice.com