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For thousands of years, the Church has gathered on Good Friday to remember the betrayal, arrest, torture, and death of Jesus Christ. The Apostolic Constitutions called Good Friday “a day of mourning, not a day of festive joy.” Yet we do not mourn as those without hope, but we mourn because it was our sin that Christ took upon Himself in His death on the cross.
This Good Friday service takes place between Palm Sunday, where we celebrate the triumphal entry of King Jesus into the city, and Resurrection Sunday, where we celebrate the King’s victory over death and begin the season of Easter. Yet, between these days of celebration, we gather to mourn and lament, to remember that the triumph of the King over sin, Satan, and death required the King to wear a crown of thorns, to be mocked instead of praised, and to be nailed to a cross.
On Good Friday, we worship God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Our great God and Father, according to His wisdom and love, ordained the plan of redemption. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ accomplished salvation through His suffering and resurrection. And God the Holy Spirit applies the work of salvation to all who are called and believe.
We look at the events leading up to the Crucifixion and Christ’s ultimate suffering and death, marveling at what a Savior we have in Jesus Christ. The cross should bring us to the collision of seemingly contradictory places. For at the cross, we see the collision of purity and depravity, mercy and judgment, sorrow and thanksgiving, and on and on we could go. On Good Friday, we remember that “He who hung the earth upon the waters was hung upon the cross.”