What is “good” about Good Friday? Let there be no mistake that what happened on this day was anything but good. An innocent man, our Lord Jesus Christ was put to the test and was forced to endure an agonizing death. Nothing that happened on this day was good.
If we were living back in that period of time and witnessed the events as they unfolded we ourselves would be saying the very same thing. Nothing good happened on Good Friday. Thus, we are left with the question why is it two thousand years later called Good Friday? We call it Good Friday not because of the events that took place but because of what they signify and from what came out of it. Year after year we commemorate the Lord’s Passion and death. This single event reminds us clearly of the extent of the Lord’s love for us. Not only are we reminded of the Lord’s love but we also recognize that the events of that day were necessary in preparation for something much greater that would take place on the third day. As we look back that is why today we call this Friday “Good” for it is on this day we are reminded of the extent of the Lord’s love.
Just a moment ago we read from the account of the Lord’s Passion from the Gospel of John. The word passion refers to an intense love. Our Lord’s love for us was so intense He laid down His life. Together as we gather here today we gather as witnesses. A witness is not only someone who sees something but a witness is someone who stands up for something. We gather this afternoon because we have witnessed the Lord’s love for us and we continue to witness the Lord’s love for us day after day after day! Our presence here today signifies the intensity of our faith and our affection for the Lord who sacrificed so much for us.
Momentarily we will have an opportunity to come forward and to venerate the cross which represents for us the very cross in which our Lord died for our sins. As we approach this cross I ask each of us to take a moment as we are walking up the isle to venerate this cross to take a moment to unite your burdens, your challenges, your struggles with His cross. The movement you and me will make momentarily is important. Often times when we are in line at a grocery store or waiting to order our meal we sometimes let our minds wonder. When we come forward today to venerate the cross I want each of us to stay focused. First I want us to focus on His cross. Then secondly I want us to focus on our crosses and as we gently touch or kiss the cross before us I want us to unite our crosses with His. Finally as we head back to our seats as others venerate the cross I want us to take a moment to say thank you to Jesus. Say thank you to the Lord for all that He has done for us through His sacrifice on the cross.
Brothers and sisters, today is Good Friday because the cross of Christ is a sign of hope and a testament of strength. Look to the Cross of Christ today. The Cross is not the end, but as Christ reminds us over and over again when He invites us to take up our crosses, the cross is the means to end. Today we lift high and we venerate the Cross of Christ, the symbol of victory for all Christians!