Growing up I didn’t really understand the significance of Good Friday. It was just another day I got off of school and to be honest, as an adult it’s been another day that I get off of work and that I get to have to myself. I don’t remember a Good Friday in my entire life that I actually spent even a fraction of the day honoring Jesus for what He did for me. Usually it’s been filled with my frantically running around doing last minute things for my churches Easter Sunday Service, or a day filled with worship rehearsals. This year I vowed to spend way more time just thanking God, little did I know I’d be under a stay at home order anyway. I wanted to be less about asking God for things and more about thanking Him for what he’s already provided and done in my life. Obviously Good Friday is no less of an opportunity to spend thanking the Lord for His ultimate sacrifice for me.
So what is Good Friday? In the most basic terms possible (ya girl ain’t a pastor lol), it’s the day that historically speaking Christians use to honor the day that Jesus was actually crucified. It’s more a day of remembrance and reverence than of celebration. Nonetheless we celebrate that Jesus took on all our sin as a spotless, sinless and perfect human being and died on this day thousands of years ago so that we could have a chance at a life on Earth without the wrath of God coming down on us all. Truthfully people kind of like to ignore that part. Jesus was sent to Earth to show us how to live as people yes, but he was also sent as a sacrifice to God so that you and I didn’t have to keep living in a world where the only way to avoid God opening the earth and swallowing us whole, or sending down fire, was daily sacrifice.
I don’t know about you…but seriously thank GOD for Jesus…am I right? Like ya’ll I not only would not be able to carry a lamb or catch a bird to take to an altar, I certainly would not have the ability to KILL it just so my daily sins could be forgiven. Yes yes I know there was a high priest that sacrificed on our behalf and all that jazz (read the Bible for more information about sacrifices) but you get my point; Jesus paid our debt once and for all so that we would never again have to. So why wouldn’t we spend Good Friday celebrating His death? It may seem strange but here are a few ways I’ve decided to honor my Jesus on this Good Friday. Check them out and maybe add a few of your own.
- Set out intentional alone time with God
Often my Bible reading and prayer time becomes me just sitting in bed and reading or praying before bed. Very few days do I actually spend time in the quite alone with God. On this day and hopefully many more, I’m physically scheduling time to spend with God. Hopefully by now you know that I’m all about a planner and some schedules, so in order to actually stick to my date with Jesus, I’m writing it in as a meeting that I cannot miss. What you choose to do during this time is up to you, but I recommend starting with talking to God and thanking Jesus for what he did for you on this day years ago.
- Find a local church service
There are a few places that hold Good Friday services and my husband and I plan on attending our church. If you’re looking for one please reach out to me and I can help you find a few places you might like or are close to you. Part of the benefit of being a worship leader is you’re kind of in the know of what other churches are doing! Celebrating the sacrifice Jesus made is even more powerful when we do it with others! Even if you attend a service online, make sure you’re plugging in.
- Write it out
I’ve told you all before how important journaling is to me. Even though it’s not something I remember to do daily, I try to at least hit a highlight reel weekly. Today I’m making sure to spend some time writing out what I think and feel about Jesus’ amazing love for me. Sometimes writing is easier than saying things out loud, so if you find yourself struggling to speak verbally with God, I suggest writing it down.
- Spend time with loved ones
Ultimately it was His love for you and I that caused Jesus to die for us. He had every right and ability to walk away from what God asked of Him and to leave us on our own, still having to be accountable for our sacrifices to God, but He didn’t. He willingly chose to die an excruciatingly painful and humiliating death all because he LOVES us. I aspire to love my friends and family even a fraction of how much Jesus loves me. Spending time with them is a beautiful way to show that you care about someone. We only get this one life with limited time and sharing that time with others is a subtle way of showing them how you love them.
This list is short and sweet because I want you spend Good Friday in a way that allows you to feel the presence of Jesus and to remember what significance today holds. Good Friday isn’t just another day and I’m ashamed to say I’ve always spent it as so. Join me today as I begin a lifetime of celebrating what Jesus did for us.
Maybe you’ve come this far and you’re not actually sure what I’m talking about? Read the below story from the book of Matthew is the Bible and please reach out if you have questions. Like I said before, I’m not really qualified in all things Jesus, but I would love to chat and get you connected to a place that can answer anything you want to know about God.
1 Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. 2 So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor. 3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” 5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. 6 The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. 8That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.” 11Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. 12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor. 15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him. 19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. 21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered.22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” 23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” 25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. 27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. 32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him. 45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,lemasabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” 48Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”