The Good Friday Paradox
I’ve always thought there was a certain irony in calling the Friday before Easter Good Friday. After all, for Christians, it would seem the darkest day of the year. I mean, what could possibly be good about a father sending his only son to a place where he would be mocked, ridiculed, tortured and forced to carry the very cross where he would hang on and be killed?
Of course Good Friday is the day we remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us, and forever changed our world. If you asked any of His followers who had to witness the crucifixion, I’m sure they thought that all hope was lost. Little did they know that just three days later, what seemed like a defeat was actually a victory – they just couldn’t see it yet!
Expecting the Victory
Jesus’ followers didn’t know to expect victory, but we know that His death was not the end of the story. How amazing it was to discover the tomb was empty (John 18-20)!
In our own lives, sometimes in order to see our victories through seasons of challenge, we are stronger when we have to experience the defeat first. If you think back on times when you’ve emerged from hardship or disappointment, you’ve probably appreciated your blessings that much more.
Getting out of debt, accomplishing a weight loss goal, repairing a damaged relationship – whatever the challenge, the victory is so much sweeter after going through the struggle.
Finishing your race
As single moms, we are almost guaranteed to go through struggle. Add the transition to Empty Nesting to that mix, and the weight of it all can press heavily on our shoulders. It can be tempting to sink into our sorrow, take on a victim mentality, and get frustrated when God doesn’t take away our challenges. Worse, we often give in to unhealthy habits to cope with the overwhelm.
But let’s take our eyes off of our misfortunes, and finish our race strong, with the assurance that God has purposeful and perfect timing, and with Him we can do all things! (2 Timothy 4, Philippians 4:32)
The singleness season
Like the events of Good Friday, and the way Jesus’ death didn’t seem so good at the time, singleness might not seem like a good thing to you at first, either.
Whether our singleness season lasts for three days, three months, three years, or longer, if we can use our time of singleness to grow stronger in our faith and live in His purpose, it is a season well spent – and that can be a good thing.
The Easter story symbolizes hope. The next time you feel weary, lonely, or overwhelmed, remember that Jesus endured the cross so He could save us.
Remember He went before us and is fighting on our behalf.
Know that because of Him we are set free.
A Good Friday prayer
God, fill me with gratitude and grace to sit in the stillness that mourns your Son’s death, yet celebrates the ultimate triumph of the cross. As Jesus was ignored, laughed at, and unjustly crucified, let me not take for granted His huge gift of love when He sacrificed His life to take my place. Help remind me that His pain will not have the last word.
And His death is not the end of the story.
Thank you, Jesus, that by your wounds we are healed, and because of your sacrifice we can live free. Thank you that sin and death have been conquered, and help us walk in your hope, truth, and strength forever.
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So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. (John 19:30)