What the Easter story teaches us about hope
As we go through Easter this year, let’s take time to reflect on what it means. For example, have you ever wondered why we call Good Friday “good,” when it is such a dark and bleak event commemorating a day of suffering and death for Jesus? For Christians, Good Friday is a crucial day of the year because it celebrates what we believe to be the most momentous three days in the history of the world. Ever since Jesus died and rose, Christians have proclaimed his death and resurrection as the decisive turning point for all creation. What hope does that bring us today?
On Good Friday we remember the day Jesus willingly went to the cross to pay the price for our sins. It is followed by Easter, when we celebrate Jesus rising from the dead, heralding victory over sin and death, and giving us hope for a future resurrection.
So, why ‘Good’ Friday instead of ‘Bad’ Friday or something similar?
Well, for one, the suffering and death of Jesus, even though terrible, was a key part of God’s plan to save us from our sins. We could never save ourselves, and for us to understand the good news of the Gospel, we must first understand the bad news of our condition. The good news of salvation makes sense once we see this.
In Luke chapter 7 from verse 36 we read the story of the woman with the alabaster jar of perfume who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. Jesus goes on to say in verse 47 that “…all her sins are forgiven, and that is why she has shown great love. But anyone who has been forgiven for only a little will show only a little love”.
This woman knew how much of a sinner she was, and forgiveness from Jesus meant everything to her. As terrible as her sin perhaps was, even greater was the joy of her salvation.
So, when we think about Jesus’ death, we can consider it to be good, i.e., ‘Good’ Friday, because as terrible as that day was, it had to happen for us to receive the joy of Easter. There is no resurrection Sunday without Good Friday. God’s judgement against sin had to be poured out on Jesus, the perfect sacrifice in our place, for us to receive forgiveness and salvation.
So, what does this mean for us as Christians?
Only in God can such evil bring about such good. For us, this means that if we are going through a bad season or a tough time in our lives, we can trust that if God could bring about the best thing in the world through the worst thing that happened, He can bring about good through our bad situations.
Therefore, as Jesus endured the cross “for the joy that was set before Him”, He has set us an example to also endure our cross(es), because there is greater joy ahead; in this life, and in the life to come. We may be going through what seems like a ‘Good Friday’ in our lives, but just as in the shadow of Good Friday is resurrection Sunday, in the shadow of our dark days lies our breakthrough. We must remember; Jesus didn’t stay dead; resurrection Sunday is coming, Hallelujah!
So, what does this mean for you as a single person?
You may feel like you’re in a dark season of your life right now, and not sure how the future is going to look. Perhaps this is not how you expected life to look like at your age. But I want to encourage you that God has a plan.
Just like He had a plan for mankind from the beginning of the world, He also has a plan for you as an individual. Have hope. Just like we can’t have Easter Sunday without Good Friday, we can’t have our testimony without our test. Hold onto God and trust that, even though it might seem like your ‘Good Friday’ right now, your ‘Easter Sunday’ is coming too!
What is giving you hope this Easter?
Enjoyed reading ‘What the Easter story teaches us about hope’? Read ‘Why we should worship God this Easter‘