Good Friday on The Stream

By The Stream Published on April 7, 2023

Good? It hardly seems good, except in retrospect of what was accomplished for us that day. Likely the term comes to us from an obsolete, proto-English usage, where ‘good’ was synonymous with ‘pious’ or ‘holy.’ Indeed, in many languages today it is called Holy Friday. In other languages, it’s: Mourning Friday, Long Friday, Sad Friday, or Friday of the Passion [Suffering] of the Lord.

Here are a few reflections on this almost unthinkable day from The Stream archives.

Man of Sorrows, Carry Our Griefs


Anika Smith

There are years when Easter seems impossible. When death and darkness feel like they’re going to win. When we weep with the women at the cross. When we long for the ground that shakes with His death to open up and swallow us whole.

What are we to do when Good Friday hits and the weight of heartbreak is as raw as an open wound ripped from the back of God Himself?

We are often told to meditate on the burden of guilt and sin that was laid on Jesus when He became the sacrificial Lamb. This is totally right and appropriate for Good Friday.

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Have a Bleak and Blessed Good Friday


John Zmirak

It’s all too easy to let this holy day get swallowed up by Easter. We know how things turn out. Death gets swallowed up by victory. Jesus goes down into darkness just for a weekend.

To really embrace the grace that’s offered by this season, we must master our minds and emotions. We should travel the road of these holy days at the same speed as the apostles. It won’t help us to jump ahead. In fact, it impoverishes everything.

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We’re Pilate, But We Should Be the Jews


David Mills

Pilate tried to save Jesus’s life before finally giving in. Maybe he didn’t have the courage to act on his convictions or maybe he just didn’t care about them. In either case he calmly calculated the costs and did the most useful thing for himself. Bad, but not (we tend to feel) as bad as the ruthless religious leaders and the howling mob. They wanted to kill Jesus. He just let Him die.

We easily read the story to blame the Jews and excuse Pilate. It’s 70-30 their fault, we might say. Maybe 80-20 or even 90-10. Why? Not because we read the story right.

Mostly because we’re comfortable and successful and safe. We have a lot to protect. And maybe because we don’t care enough about the truth, or about other people. Because, in other words, of the story’s two villains, we’re the calm calculating Roman. Of course we won’t see how bad he was. Of course we’ll excuse him. He’s us.

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Did God Abandon Jesus on the Cross?


Dwight Longenecker

At the point of his death on the cross, Jesus Christ uttered the famous words, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?”

Did God abandon Jesus in his most desperate hour?

Some Bible teachers believe at that point Jesus took on all the sin of the world and God turned his back on him. That was part of the terrible price that had to be paid.

Or was it the other way around? Instead of God abandoning Jesus, did Jesus abandon God? In other words, at the very end, did Jesus despair? Did he lose hope? Did he stop trusting in God his father? Did he enter into the depths of darkness and lose touch with God? Did he give in to the weight of loneliness, pain and anguish? Did he give up?

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For more Holy Week articles, click here.

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