April 2, 2021

Black Friday? Holy Friday? Good Friday?

April 2, 2021

By Rev. Dietrich “Deech” Kirk, Executive Director of the Center for Youth Ministry Training


Hebrews 10:16-25, Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9, John 18:1-19:42

I have always struggled with the name Good Friday.  Have you?  How can we call something good that seems to be so bad?  

Some call it Black Friday which seems more appropriate for what happened that day.  The heaviness of God’s son dying on the cross and the darkness of the hearts of humanity align with Black Friday.

Good Friday also means Holy Friday which also seems appropriate as Jesus’ death opens the door for us to eternal life.  God is Holy and only that which is Holy will be allowed into God’s presence.  We are not Holy. In Hebrews 10:16-25, Paul declares that Jesus’ death grants us access through the curtain to the Holy of Holies.  The curtain that prevented our access to God’s Holiness is torn and we can enter made clean by the blood of Christ’s sacrifice.  By the blood of the Lamb of God, we are made holy through our faith in Christ.  

Have you ever wanted someone to die?  Some people have been hurt so deeply by another they wish that person was dead believing their death will bring healing or justice to their life.  You may also have known someone who was in such physical pain from illness that you wished for their death to end their suffering.  

The Jewish leaders and the crowds called for Jesus to die.  They called for him to be crucified.  The darkness of the human heart is apparent in these moments.  Jesus who knows God has put all things under His power (John 13:3) sets that power aside and lets the people choose His fate.  They choose death on a cross.

I think I struggle most deeply with calling it Good Friday, because I find myself in the dark parts of the story.  I’m Peter denying Jesus not once, not twice, but three times.  I’m Pilot washing my hands finding no guilt in Jesus, but not stopping the will of the crowds. I’m in the crowd shouting “crucify him.” I’m one of the disciples abandoning Jesus at the cross.  I’m the soldier piercing his side.  I may even be Judas, the betrayer.

Black Friday, Holy Friday, Good Friday?  For me, this day represents all three.

In my own sin I find Good Friday to be a Black Friday, because it reveals the darkness of my own heart.  

In God’s forgiveness, I find Holy Friday; as Jesus makes a way through His death for me to become Holy.

Through the light of the resurrection, I can call today Good Friday; because God’s love and Christ’s sacrifice are on display for all the world to see.  

This Good Friday, confess the darkness of your own heart, remember Christ’s sacrifice for you, and give thanks for the resurrection that truly makes this Friday Good!