What Does Good Friday Mean to Me?

by Pamela Rose Williams · Print Print · Email Email

As the years progress and I am in this season of my life, I realize that Good Friday means something different than it did when I was a child. Even today, I remember our traditions and the traditions of the church in which I was raised. On this day of remembrance I pray that you will understand the importance and the symbolism of this most solemn day in Christendom.

Growing Up

As a child on Good Friday my Mom and my sisters and I spent much time in church on this day. I attended a Catholic church then and on that day no Mass was held, instead we did the Stations of the Cross. This was a time when we would be led by the Priest in visiting various “stations”, identified with pictures that hung on the wall. We would begin with the first station: “Jesus is condemned to death” and move around the church perimeter reciting prayers all the way through to the last station (14th): “Jesus is laid in the tomb”. As a child this process saddened me as I studied the gruesome pictures that hung on the walls all year, never to be noticed until Good Friday. Depending upon how many people were present it could take up to 2 hours to complete the stations.

After the stations we usually had Holy Communion. I remember too that this was the one day that the Host (now called the Eucharist), was in the Monstrance on the altar. This Monstrance was a solid gold container of sorts that looked sort of like the sun with rays carved into the gold. I don’t remember seeing the Monstrance at any other time. The Host was in the center of this golden holder.

As children we were not required to fast, but the ones who where over the age of 14 were to abstain from meat on Good Friday and fast – which meant that they could eat 3 meals and no snacks. Good Friday was not considered to be a Holy Day of Obligation, so the church was usually pretty empty.

Later Years

Good Friday

He purchased me with His blood!

I was a grown woman when I learned the truth of the gospel. It was then that Good Friday became something more. Although Christians regularly recall the crucifixion of Jesus; this is the day that the cross at Calvary is illuminated.

I have had much opportunity to listen to the preaching of the Cross and to understand the significance of what Jesus did for me. Prophesy was fulfilled at the cross; He was despised and rejected and we esteemed Him not; He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows.

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5-6)

Today I recall the lyrics to one of the most moving hymns of all time. It is a hymn that always brings me to tears. Tears of sorrow for what my Lord endured and tears of joy for what He overcame for me! A video of this song is in the upper right of this page and here is how it affects me:

I weep when I sing:

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh … Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

I rejoice when I sing:

Were you there when He rose from the grave?
Were you there when He rose from the grave?
Sometimes, It makes me want to shout … and I cry
And I begin to tremble, I tremble
Were you there when He rose from the grave?

I was not physically there but I stand on the promise that Jesus died to pay my sin – to pay your sin debt (Romans 3:23; 6:23). I claim the promise from the Bible which says:

“ For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8)

What does Good Friday mean to me? It means that because of the cruel death that Jesus the Christ suffered, and because He proved victory over death, I too will rise victorious into eternal life when Jesus comes to claim His purchased possession. I am His. I belong to Him; He purchased me with His blood! (Matthew 26:28; Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:12-14; Hebrews 9:22; 1 John 1:7)

I am just a sinner saved by grace and everyone who believes in what Jesus did over two thousand years ago can claim the same victory as I – eternal life because of Calvary.

It was a cruel, dark and sorrowful day; the day my Jesus died. BUT, it was a Good Friday because it was not the end of Jesus’ life, it was the beginning of the miracle of the Resurrected Jesus — the Savior of the world. Jesus died once for all. He finished his work and now He is seated at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 12:2). One day He will return to redeem His believers — are you a believer? Don’t delay, He could come at any time. Won’t you come to Jesus today?

Sources – The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” YouTube Video: “Where You There” by Selah

[Editor’s note: This is a repost of an article I wrote a few year ago. It is still just as relevant today as the day I wrote it. I hope you are blessed as you reflect upon the blessings of Good Friday]

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