Today feels somber and heavy. Perhaps it’s the never-ending cold grey skies that have lingered too long and the rain that sweeps across the ground with an air of melancholy. Or the saddening news of a bill that was passed in the late hours of the evening that hurts and dismays educators. Or the canceling of school in response, leaving far too many children who look to school as their safe place, home for one more day of break  – a break they dread. Or that today is the Friday before Easter and the commemoration of the greatest sacrifice this world has ever seen. For all this, it can be hard to see today as “Good.”

Good Friday always seemed an ironic name for such a day. At first glance, it was far from good for Jesus that day. We may be able to grasp that it is good for us to have our sins forgiven and have Him exchange His perfect life for our imperfect lives. Jesus went to His grave because God wasn’t willing to have Heaven without me, and you. Jesus was the ultimate blood sacrifice to purchase a place in heaven for God’s Beloved.

But it was also good for Jesus. Because in the obedience of His death, He honored and glorified His Father. Holy obedience can hurt. It can leave scars and even lead to death. But it is still GOOD. And the heaviness of that Holy response is working deep in my heart today as I sit in the confusion and frustration and sadness of everything else taking place in the world.

Many of my dear friends and family members are affected by legislation that doesn’t honor or protect them. Many more students — who desperately need and depend on their educators to be their mentors, safe havens, and champions — are being left defenseless and confused. People who I fiercely love are facing unfathomable heartaches and hardships and abuse. Today’s world can feel too heavy, too scary, too much. And yet the history this day echoes through the years, reminding us that God is always Good.

“So maybe the answer surrounds us
And we don’t have eyes to see
That you’re always good
Always good.
This heartache is moving me closer
Than joy ever could
And you’re always good.”

– Always Good, Andrew Peterson

At the ninth hour, Jesus cried out on the cross “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). We celebrate this Friday as “good” because Jesus displayed for us the beauty in obedience to our Father. His obedience not only saved fallen Creation but made Jesus completely capable of relating to us in every struggle, celebration or situation we find ourselves in this life. The Creator of the Universe surrendered His almighty power to become fully human, and willing hung and died on a cross so that when we feel completely forsaken, He could draw near and say “I know. I know how you feel. I’ve been there. And I know that regardless, God is always good.

On this somber Friday where we face so much unknown, confusion, and angst, my prayer is that we still rise up and call it Good. Because while this battle may still be being fought, the war is already won. Jesus claimed the final, eternal victory when He obediently took on death, endured the grave for the three days, and triumphantly rose again. Today may be Friday, but Sunday is coming. And we can cling to the Truth that God is still God, God is good at being God and God is good to us.

“As we try to believe
What is not meant to be understood
Will you help us to trust
Your intentions for us are still good
‘Cause you laid down your life
And you suffered like I never could
You’re always good.” – Andrew Peterson

Do you remember how Mary was grieving?
How you wept when she fell at your feet?
If it’s true that you know what I’m feeling
Could it be that you’re weeping with me?

Arise, O Lord, and save me
There’s nowhere else to go
You’re always good
Always good
Somehow this sorrow
Is shaping my heart like it should
And you’re always good
Always good

It’s so hard to know what you’re doing
Why won’t you tell it all plain?
But you said you’d come back on the third day
And Peter missed it again and again
So maybe the answer surrounds us
And we don’t have eyes to see
That you’re always good
Always good
This heartache is moving me closer
Than joy ever could
And you’re always good

My God, my God, be near me
There’s nowhere else to go
And Lord, if you can hear me
Please help your child to know
That you’re always good
Always good

As we try to believe
What is not meant to be understood
Will you help us to trust
Your intentions for us are still good
‘Cause you laid down your life
And you suffered like I never could
You’re always good

 

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