How to Experience the True Meaning of Good Friday This Year
How to Experience the True Meaning of Good Friday This Year
Shakia Clark iBelieve Contributing Writer
Good Friday is about Jesus and the price He paid for us. Whether you are in a season of fasting or not, be intentional to remember Jesus. Reflect on how He rescued you.
Leading up to Easter is a special time of remembrance. It commemorates the true meaning behind the gospel message. It is a reminder of how our Father sent His only Son to earth to die for our sins (John 3:16) and give us an example to follow.
He allowed us to step into a new covenant of grace. A grace that we don’t deserve, a grace we could never work towards. It’s a grace we have been gifted through Christ (Romans 3:24-25).
What Is Good Friday?
As Christians we honor Good Friday, which is celebrated the Friday before Easter, to remember the price that Jesus paid at the cross for our sins. Because we know Jesus, we know He could have easily taken Himself down from the cross, yet He endured pain, torture, and mocking for you and for me. He willingly suffered because He knew this plan needed to be fulfilled.
It is hard to conceive of Good Friday as being good if you focus just on the death of Christ. But we celebrate Easter as the day Jesus was raised from the tomb to conquer death and the grave. This makes Good Friday a day to be celebrated, because as believers, it didn’t end on this day; something new began.
Good Friday was a day of Preparation. In the Jewish tradition, they prepared on this day as they knew the Sabbath was coming and no work could be done. Is this a coincidence? Absolutely not. God was intentional in His work here because there would be no denying of His power in this moment. He was preparing something new to take place.
For those who immediately recognized who He was after the death (see Matthew 27:54), they would have to sit in this knowledge during the Sabbath. For some still questioning His existence, they would soon know that something divine would have had to take place for the tomb to be found empty.
God is always intentional in His work; even when it looks like death.
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Boonyachoat
1. Read (or Re-read) the Gospel Accounts
I find joy in this practice of committing to re-reading the Gospel accounts to prepare my heart for Good Friday and Easter. No matter how many times you have read it, there is always new insight to glean from His Word. In order to experience the true meaning of Good Friday, you have to be committed to learning what the Word says about it; recognizing the details and God’s hand at work through it. It is a powerful story that will never get old.
If you are reading it for the first time, I’d recommend you start with the Gospel of John and work your way from there.
Before you approach the Scripture, ask the Holy Spirit to show you what He wants you to see this year through the gospel message. To truly understand the Word of God, we need the guidance of His Spirit to instruct us and equip us. Lean into the Spirit with a heart ready to learn.
2. Remember the Price He Paid for You
As you read through the Gospel, don’t just rush through it, but take time to reflect and remember what He has done for you. I am intentional to read the accounts of the crucifixion on Good Friday.
As difficult as the details can be to read, it is a reminder of the price He paid for me, before I even came into this world. It helps me to put things into perspective and become centered.
Journal your thoughts and instructions from His spirit as they come. Don’t forget to thank Him for His sacrifice and worship Him for who He is in your life, and what He has done for you.
3. Repent of Your Sins
We all fall short of His glory. We will never be perfect, but we should always have a posture of repentance. We have to be willing and intentional to repent of our sins, our evil ways. We never know how our actions can impact others, and therefore we need to repent of those sins we are aware of and maybe even unaware of at times. Stay in a place of repentance and acknowledge your dependency on Jesus while here on earth.
4. Partake in Communion
If you are a believer, partaking in communion is also a great way to remember His sacrifice. The juice represents His blood shed for us and the bread represents His body. You do not have to be in church to partake in this; but you do have to be a believer who has examined their hearts (1 Corinthians 11:23-28). Communion should never be taken lightly as it is a holy moment set aside for believers to remember the pain Jesus endured and to thank Him for willingly doing so in our place.
5. Spread the Good News
Another way to experience the true meaning of Good Friday is to tell others about Jesus and what He has done for us. Once we know Jesus for ourselves, it is our commission to tell others all about Him (See Matthew 28:19-20).
He is so good that we should want others to experience His goodness. Ask the Lord, who might He have you share His story with today? Who is in your circle who needs to hear it? Never miss an opportunity to spread His message to His people. God can use each of us to make a life-changing impact in someone else’s life. Never discredit how God may use you in this way.
6. Come to Know Him
If you are not a believer, it is not too late to know Him. As you read or hear about Jesus, the Bible says that “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). It is that simple for you. If you want to experience Him today, pray this prayer, taking time to consider what speaking these words to God, and believing them in your heart, would mean for your life:
“Father, I ask You to forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and make me new. I believe in Jesus Christ who died, was buried and rose again. I believe He did this for me. Father, I ask that you come into my heart and help me to follow you all the days of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
Whether you prayed it for the first time or as an act of rededication, we know you have been saved. Romans 10:13 tells us, For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
If you are already a son or daughter of Christ, I believe we can do our part by continuing to pray and believe for those do not know Him to come to know the truth of His Word. And as they do, let’s rejoice with the angels, knowing that another child has come home. Pray for those who need to know the Lord and pray for what your role may be in their lives. Let us never miss a moment to pray for others who need to experience Jesus.
Good Friday Reflections
Good Friday is all about Jesus and the price He paid for us. Let us remember all that He has done for us and pray for those who still need to experience His love. Many people fast leading up to Easter as a sacrifice. Whether you are in a season of fasting or not, be intentional to remember Jesus. Reflect on how He rescued you.
Jesus has been so good to us. He has done enough in taking our sins to the grave on Good Friday. The gospel story is so powerful because it is a reminder of His goodness, even though we are not always good. I am thankful that He is enough and we should praise Him for that!
Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Daniele Franchi
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