Good Friday is one of the most meaningful moments of the Christian faith. It is the moment sorrow merges with the indescribable joy we have knowing that Jesus died on the cross tragically to defeat death once and for all on our behalf. Good Friday is a somber moment, in which we can express our gratitude for Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross.
It is a chance to open our hearts to the passion that the Cross communicates. Jesus’ obedience, suffering, and death speak in such a powerful way the unimaginable love God has for us, his fallen creation. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God gave up so much for us, beings stuck in sin, unworthy of God’s grace. This is the reality we can ponder in our hearts on Good Friday! We pause to let the magnitude of God’s grace capture the imagination of our hearts.
What Is Good Friday?
Good Friday celebrates what Christ-followers know to be the most important event to happen in history! Good Friday is the day that we remember that Jesus Christ gave himself over to suffer and died as a sacrifice for our sins (1 John 1:1). Good Friday is followed by Easter Sunday, the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
You may wonder why it’s called “Good Friday” and not “Tragic Friday” or something that reflects the sorrow that accompanied Jesus’ death on the cross. The origin of the term “Good Friday” is debated. One idea is that the name originated from it being called “God’s Friday” and eventually evolved into “Good Friday.” Another theory that seems to hold more credibility is it was named “Good Friday” because the terms good, from the past, also can be mean holy. Good Friday came from the idea that this was a Holy Friday, the day in which God suffered and died of our sins.
A Beautiful Good Friday Prayer
I thank you that you have not forsaken me. You knit me together in my Mother’s womb, you intimately know my thoughts, and you still love me. From the creation of the world, you set in motion a rescue plan so that I would not have to spend an eternity away from you. You stepped down from heaven so that the curse of sin and death would come untrue. Through your great sacrifice, you made a way for fallen mankind to have hope and a future.
Thank you, God, for sending the gift of your Son to earth to bear the weight of my sin and shame. I thank you for setting me free from my sin and for inviting me to be a part of your heavenly family. I am humbled by your amazing grace, by the blood you shed, and by your love that is so much greater than I would be able to fully comprehend.
Give me the strength to live with the obedience, just as you were obedient, even to death, to your Father. Help me to live with the humility that you showed as you walked this earth dying a criminal’s death even as the Son of God. Lord, empower me to show your love to those around me, just as you so graciously showed your love for us through your incarnation, death, and resurrection. May those who have yet to accept your message of hope and salvation come to have a personal relationship with you.
Bible Passages That Remind Us What Good Friday Is All About
Psalm 22:1: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?”
Psalm 22:14-18: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
Isaiah 53:3-6: “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds, we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Mark 9:31: “for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.”
John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Ways You Can Reflect on Good Friday at Home
Here are a few ideas on how to center your mind on Jesus and his great loving sacrifice for us this year.
Rise Early for Prayer and Meditation
It is a beautiful chance for spending extra time devoted to prayer and reflection. Wake up a little bit earlier to give yourself a chance for some undistracted time of meditation where you can pause in remembrance of Jesus’ great sacrifice. Read the passages listed and allow the words to penetrate your heart. Allow God’s amazing grace to overcome your senses in a way that makes this year less about the tradition of Easter and more about a chance to come again to worship our King.
Choose a Fast to Observe for the Day
Fasting, the practice of denying your flesh to connect with the spirit, is something the Bible encourages believers to observe. Isaiah 58:6 says, “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?” Much of the church observes a fast on Good Friday and it is a great way to break free from your routine to be more aware of the spiritual significance of the day. You can fast anything: a meal, media, or a habit. Some choose to fast bread or anything that you feel led to take out of your day, so you are more present with Jesus.
Practice Silence for Part of the Day
Practicing silence from noon to 3 pm, as those are the hours that Christ suffered on the Cross, is one way to center your spirit on the significance of Good Friday. Silence stills us; it gives us a chance to break from our tasks and hone our thoughts away from the constant hustle around us. Taking this time to think about Jesus and what he gave so you might be able to join in a relationship with him is a wonderful way to capture the meaning of Good Friday.
Choose a Scripture to Memorize
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This is one of the most famous scriptures from the Bible, but it is a great place to start if you have not yet memorized it. If you have kids this would be a beautiful verse to memorize at the dinner table together and talk about the significance of Good Friday together. Choose a passage that resonates with the truth of the cross to your heart and commit it to memory this Good Friday.
Let’s take time to pray, reflect, remember, and thank God for the gift of his Son this Good Friday. Don’t let the day pass on by just like any other but allow the truth of the Gospel to stir up passion, sorrow, joy, and peace this year. Our faith is like no other in our world and what sets it apart is that God stepped down and did something for us that we could never accomplish on our own. God’s grace is truly amazing!
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/shuang paul wang
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.
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