I love Good Friday. It seems to be the one thing we allow ourselves in Evangelical churches to be “only good.”
- We are supposed to want Great Churches. A good church is not good enough.
- Our churches are supposed to have Wonderful Programs. Good programs are not good enough.
- We are supposed to have Awesome Worship…. certainly not good worship.
- We are supposed to have Extreme, Radical Faith, in God’s Amazing Grace. Again, good is simply not good enough.
I guess it is true that we accept that it is okay to say that God is good. After all, don’t many of us in church have the responsive slogan: “God is good… all the time— and All the time… God is good”?
But then, Is God Good all the Time? Is it enough that God is good, or must He be good all the time? Arguably, it is more accurate to say, humanly speaking, “God is Good, but not all the time. Not all the time, but God is (still) Good.”
Now, I am being a bit flippant with my words. But words do mean something even when we don’t mean them too. Bill Cosby (long before his recent scandals came to light) had a wonderful riff on this in his semi-comedic exegesis of Genesis, while he was suggesting that the first three chapters of Genesis provided insight as to the cause of “brain damage” in our offspring, We invent something and call it “Stupendous” or “Amazing,” while God makes a tree or a rabbit, and declares it “Good.” It is as if we need to hide our general mediocrity with marketing.
But good is a good term. It should not be tossed aside too quickly.
- The term “good” suggests a moral rightness and appropriateness. It is more than simply being desirable or impressive. A “Good Christian” is right with God and Man. A “Great Christian”? I don’t know what that it… but is probably not someone to be trusted. A “Good Church” seeks to be light and salt in the world? A “Great Church”? Probably has awesome worship music, wonderful activities, and lots of parking… but may not be all that good.
- Good suggests a certain simple integrity. Christmas is Merry, and Easter is Happy. There are a lot of cool activities that one can do— both secular and sacred. But Good Friday still exists in simplicity. Some Christians do fall into the trap of morbid fascination with torture of the crucifixion… as if divine propritiation rather than human sadism of turning a sacrificial offering into mutilation.
Good Friday is simply good— a good act of a good God, taking away our shame and sin… and leaving us an example of divine humility… for us, as good Christians, to follow in His steps.
And I would have to go with Tony Campola in saying that one thing that makes Good Friday good is that (Easter) Sunday’s Coming. In line with that, here is a youtube video related to it (for some reason the video is twice as long as it is supposed to be… so don’t worry if the sound cuts off at the half-way point.)
Also here is the audio of Bill Cosby regarding God’s good creation (That part starts around the 3 minute 30 second point.)