But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
Today is Good Friday. If you are like me, and have grown up in the church community, you may be asking yourself why this particular day is called “Good.” The events in history that happened on this day were dark, painful, sad, and unimaginable. This is a crucial day of the year to a believer. It marks the day Jesus willingly went to the cross and took the pain and punishment for all our sin. For Christians, this day celebrates the most courageous act of love demonstrated for all mankind. Thankfully, it is followed by Resurrection Sunday (Easter). On Sunday, we will celebrate the day Jesus was raised from the dead and had victory over sin and death.
Good Friday is “good” because, as terrible as it was, it happened in order for us to celebrate Easter! It is on the cross where we witness God’s great suffering and His forgiveness. Jesus suffered the pain knowing it would ultimately lead to His resurrection, His plan of salvation, and the redemption of our sin.
There will be much celebration this weekend! I’m not just talking about Egg Hunts and Easter Baskets (although those things are a lot of fun!) I’m talking about the celebration that will be happening in churches around the world filled with grateful people giving thanks for a Risen Savior! Those same churches will also be filled with people who need to know just how much Jesus loves them and what He did in order for them to have a personal relationship with Him.
How will you be celebrating? Does your family have Easter traditions? There are so many things we do to prepare for Christmas, what do we do to prepare for Easter?
Take time to read through the accounts that led up to Jesus’s crucifixion and His resurrection in the Bible. Read about His entrance into Jerusalem, The Last Supper, His Trial, His Death, and of course the Empty Tomb. Many of us are so familiar with the baby Jesus, but are not so familiar with the real reason he came to Earth.
In years past, my family has made Resurrection Rolls. This has always been a simple (and yummy) illustration to my siblings and I of the Easter Story. It is something I look forward to every year, even now as a teenager. At Christmas time we bake cookies, so why not do some creative baking at Easter?
Are you having an Egg hunt? Why not prepare Resurrection Eggs? Basically, you can fill plastic eggs with scripture from the Easter story and a picture or object to go along with that scripture. For example, a nail to represent the nails that went through Jesus’s hands, or a rock to symbolize the stone rolled in front of the tomb. Wouldn’t it be awesome to hide those eggs in a neighbors yard?
When I was younger, I had an amazing Children’s Pastor who would take us on a “Journey to the Cross” in the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. At each station we participated in an activity that reminded us about an event that led to Jesus’s resurrection. One example was he had us carry a backpack filled with heavy rocks up a long steep hill. If we got tired we would hand the backpack to our partner and they would carry it the rest of the way. This activity gave us a small glimpse of what Jesus went through as He carried His cross to Calvary. You could try doing something like this with your family, or the people you will be celebrating with this year.
However you choose to celebrate this weekend, keep in mind that “Good Friday” is Good! It is appropriately titled because the suffering and death of Jesus, as horrific as it was, was part of God’s plan to save us all from our sin. In order to understand the good news of salvation, we need to understand the bad news of our sinful nature that was covered for us all when Jesus willingly went to the cross.