A Bad Friday Made Good

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 (ESV)

I think if we are honest with ourselves, we’ve all had these moments. Oh, not hanging on a cross with nails in our hands struggling to breathe. More of I don’t know why I have to go through this disease. I don’t know how I am going to get through this situation.

And some, who either have much more faith than me or are just good at faking it, will never doubt. They make me feel like a spiritual weakling. But I find myself to be much more like Jesus in his weak moment than those powerhouses of the faith. And I wonder where is God in this or that.

That’s what we remember here on the Friday that we call “good” in hindsight. Cause on that first Good Friday, it didn’t seem good for anyone. Jesus was hanging on the cross wondering why God had forsaken him. Mary was crying at the foot of the cross, seeing her son executed. The apostles were feeling betrayed by the Messiah, and they would turn around and betray him. It was what would seem to be, on all accounts, a very bad Friday.

It’s only good because of what happened on Sunday that we call it good. God has this great knack of turning that which seems bad into something good. Jesus died on Friday, but He rose from the dead on Sunday. He brought light into the darkest of places. Where there was only defeat on Friday, he brought victory on Sunday. Where there was suffering on Friday, he brought rejoicing on Sunday. Where there was despair on Friday, he brought hope on Sunday.

But that doesn’t change the fact that Fridays happen. We still face our Friday moments. Maybe we struggle financially. Maybe we have a disease. Maybe a loved one is dying or dead. Maybe there doesn’t seem to be any hope in our situation. And at those times, we can relate to Jesus when He said, “My God, My God, why have forsaken you me.” Maybe you're in that spot right now. My God, My God why have you forsaken me. You can’t see the hope. You can’t hear the victory. You can’t find that moment of rejoicing. The good eludes you.

The Psalm – Psalm 22 - that Jesus was alluding to here goes on: “Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.”

When we look back on God working in our history, may we be able to see that he turns the bad into good. When we experience victory in the present, may we declare that He has done it. And when darkness is all around us, may our faith shine through.

He has done it. He’s brought victory. He’s brought hope.

As I’ve heard from other preachers, “It’s Friday” – and it may feel that way in your soul right now. "It’s Friday" – My God. My God why have you forsaken me. “It’s Firday but Sunday is coming.”