I’ve always thought Good Friday to be one of the more awkward days of the Christian year.
Good Friday marks some of the most pivotal moments of the Christian faith. We remember Christ’s sacrifice on the cross in light of the weight of our own sin and the stark reminders of brokenness in our world. It’s often a dark day when many of us participate in weighty, reflective services at church.
But I’ve found, as I enter into this space, usually with a heavy emphasis on the timeline of events in Christ’s final hours, sometimes I’m struck with “Good Friday amnesia.”
Of course, we all know that Jesus’ death doesn’t mark the end of the story. Just seventy-two hours away is one of the greatest celebrations of the Christian faith. And during every other Sunday morning on the calendar, we mark Christ’s victory over death and his redemption in our lives and active work in the world.
But at times, we remember Good Friday in a vacuum, as if the resurrection is the spoiler ending that we all pretend we don’t know. Then on Easter morning, we whiplash 180 degrees to celebrate the ending that none of us saw coming.
Really, the two days go hand in hand.
We reflect on our present brokenness best when we remember that we have also been redeemed. And we remember Christ’s death most wholly when we have the resurrection in the back of our minds.
Good Friday and Easter are the impetus for a movement that we mark every week in our worship. When we move from confession to assurance of pardon in our services each week, we don’t forget that we are a broken people, only to exhale to learn that God forgives us five minutes later.
We confess the brokenness in our lives and in the world most fully when we understand that God is at work through us in the world to make it whole.
So every week, but especially during this weekend, we hold both at the same time. Sin and grace. The already and the not yet. Death and resurrection.
Ryan Struyk (’14) graduated from Calvin with majors in political science and mathematics. He currently covers the 2016 elections for abc News in Washington. He’s also done political polling in New York City and reported on the Idaho state legislature for the Associated Press in Boise. In his free time, Ryan enjoys talking about inferential statistics, music theory, and his beloved Detroit Tigers.