Friday, 3 April 2015
What's so good about Good Friday?
We live in an age where we have to be enough.
We strive to be better. We have to have the perfectly tidy home, children who aren't picky eaters, a satisfying job, dinner parties where we can cook Jamie Oliver's extravagant dishes. We are supposed to be a size 12, or even a 10, and we sweat out that evil fat by doing ridiculous challenges. Our children are meant to be polite, all the time. Young people have to achieve academically or they are deemed failures. Careers are the be all and end all.
We are told that we are good enough, strong enough, courageous enough. We read enlightening memes in social media that tell us we don't need anyone else because we have it all. If we can just summon up all our good qualities from within ourselves, our lives will turn out to be amazing.
And yet, beneath our facade of having it all together we feel like we are crumbling. Mental health issues are on the rise - and I know firsthand what this feels like. Young people suffer from depression, and self harm and eating disorders are increasing at an alarming rate. Women who were told they could have a satisfying career, perfect home and family life are on the edge of sanity trying to hold it all together. Men and women turn to alcohol to numb the truth that they aren't who they are supposed to be. Marriages fail because they've been built on the foundation of believing the other person is enough. Ambition drives us forward at menacing speed.
We wonder why we can't be like Everyone Else who seem to have it all together. And inside we question whether we are good enough.
Good Friday gives us the opportunity to breathe out and realise we are not, in fact, enough.
Good Friday tells us to stop trying, because we can never be enough.
The events of Good Friday point us to the truth that we don't have to do it all because Jesus has done it.
He died so we can live. Not just survive. Live.
He died so we can know what it means to find our fulfillment in God.
Good Friday is so outrageously good because we can stop wearing ourselves out by striving to find the strength from within ourselves when it simply isn't there.
Good Friday is jump-up-and-down-and-dance-round-the-kitchen good because our freedom from guilt and judgement has been bought.
Good Friday is extravangantly good because we can stop. And breathe. And know we are loved so much that Jesus would die in our place.
Good Friday is life-changingly good because our purpose for living changes from 'be it all' to 'you're my all.'
Good Friday is overwhelmingly good because we can be free.
This isn't a platitude or a Facebook meme. This kind of life is offered to us, freely, without any effort on our part. Sound unfair? Ridiculous? That's because it is. God loves us unfairly and ridiculously. He offers us this way of living when we don't even deserve it.
The question to ask ourselves this Easter is will we take it?