Today is Good Friday. So what makes Friday good?
In our reckoning, every Friday is good because it means another workweek is nearly finished, and the weekend approaches where we will enjoy two days off.
But this one Friday we remember as good differently than every other––good because something bad happened that created good for us.
On this one Friday, one individual, in some mysterious way, took upon Himself all the guilt of every person who has ever existed or who will walk on this earth. Every destructive decision, every failure to measure up, every crossing of moral boundaries, every evil thought and misguided intention and act of rebellion against God, He has claimed as His own––though He Himself did none of it.
On this Friday, all the darkness and remorse, all human wickedness and Heaven's disappointment, all the guilt and shame fell on Him.
Luke records that for three hours, at the time one would expect the greatest light (noon to 3 p.m.), darkness smothered the land. Clouds? An eclipse? A miraculous bending of light? However it happened, Heaven wanted every witness to physically see and feel the effects of the unseen at that moment: the just anger and displeasure of God in His Holiness, the flickering life of the rejected Messiah, the turning away of the Father from the Son, and unclean hands of the human race being laid on the head of it's one Substitute––the sacrificial Lamb of God.
Then, at the ninth hour, the oppression lifts; the hold is broken. He cries out, "It is finished!" The Man on the beam of the cross slumps in death. It is no coincidence that at 3 p.m., the Jewish Shofar horn blows, signaling the Passover Lamb in the Temple has been sacrificed––the innocent for the guilty, the One for the many, God for man.
Good Friday. As the Psalmist predicted: "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" (118:24). The day that the Stone the builders rejected, the day that He became the Cornerstone of all God would later do (118:22-23); this is that day.
It is Friday. And it is good. And when Sunday comes, it will be even better!