Devotional: Good Friday explained

Good Friday

Written by Major Paula Pyle, Officer of the North Minneapolis Salvation Army Worship and Service Center

Good Friday, also known as “Holy Friday,” is the Friday immediately preceding Easter Sunday. Many Christian churches celebrate Good Friday with a subdued service, in the morning or evening, in which Christ’s death is remembered with solemn hymns and prayers of thanksgiving. In some parts of the world, there are processions and marches in the street reenacting ‘The Journey to the Cross.’

Whether or not Christians choose to “celebrate” Good Friday, the events of that day should be ever on our minds because of the death of Christ on the cross.

Why is Good Friday referred to as ‘good’?

Although the rulers of Jesus’ day mocked, persecuted, ridiculed, and laughed at Him on the day He was crucified, Jesus went on to triumph over death and win victory over our sins. That is what made it a “Good Friday.”

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but shall have Everlasting Life.” Jesus does not want us to be saddened by His death on Good Friday. He wants us to approach it with reverence, humility and respect, just as we do throughout Holy Week.  Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Why should we be good to others?

While on the cross, Jesus persevered amidst the jeering and sayings of the crowd, found in Matthew 27:42: “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.”

In the same way, we can forgive those who oppose us and turn the other cheek like Jesus did, and say, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).” The scripture thus speaks for itself; Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

When should we be good to others?

We should always be good to others. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Christ Himself has been so good to us. We should emulate this attribute to others as well.

There is a hymnal chorus which says:

Everywhere He went, He was doing good.

He’s a Mighty Healer, He cleansed the leper.

When the crippled saw Him, they started walking.

Everywhere He went, my Lord, He was doing good.

This chorus emphasizes that wherever we go, every day of our lives, in the good times and bad times, we should always seek to do good. The hymnal To Be Like Jesus says, “To be like Jesus, this hope possesses me. In every thought and deed. This is my aim, my creed. To be like Jesus, this hope possesses me. His Spirit Helping me. Like Him I’ll be.”

May our Good Friday be good, and may we strive to do good to all we can, for as long as we can. In Jesus name. Amen.

The Salvation Army Northern Division pledges to do the most good with your gifts of time and money, with 81 cents of every dollar going directly to services. Join us by volunteering or making a donation to support your local community. Stay current on how The Salvation Army is changing lives in Minnesota and North Dakota by signing up for our e-Newsletters.

Read more stories