Good Friday

In Lent 24 by Bruce LogueLeave a Comment

“When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb which he had hewn in the rock.”

Matthew 27:57-66

“Good Friday” is an odd name for the Friday of the Tomb. The Friday when all hope was dashed, the disciples were afraid, and Pilate was paranoid. Pilate’s wife had warned him about Jesus because of a bad dream she had the night before. The Friday when the disciples and followers of Jesus were wondering what to do next.

At this moment there was nothing that would make them connect the dots of what Jesus had told them. The pictures seared into their minds were those of an angry mob, an inhumane and vicious Roman guard, and the tomb. Where do you go from there?

Joseph was a wealthy man who got possession of Jesus’ body from Pilate. On Friday afternoon he and the others took Jesus’ lifeless body down from the cross and carried it to a new tomb that Joseph had purchased for his own eventual death. He and the others had to take care of the body before 6:00 pm because that is when Sabbath began, and work could not be done on the Sabbath.

Judas had committed suicide because of his betrayal of Jesus, Matthew 27:3-5. Despair hung in the air like a bad aroma. What was “good” about this Friday except that Jesus had entered the last stage of his battle with sin and death. He was ultimately victorious, but the disciples did not see that yet. In their minds, this was the worst Friday they had ever experienced.

S.M.Lockridge is famous for his sermon, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.” It’s a good reminder of what Jesus knew but the disciples didn’t. It’s the Friday of despair. The Friday of loss and hopelessness. The Friday of “what do we do next?” It’s the Friday of death. The Friday that follows us to the graves of our loved ones. “Good,” but only in the sense of what is coming. It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.

Something to think about: When do you feel like there is no hope? What helps you to regain your balance and proceed in hope?

Something to pray about: O God, it is hard not to despair in this dark world – war, racism, political lying, and such, heighten our despair and hope wanes. Please help us remember that Sunday is coming. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Leave a Comment