I frequently mix up the two. I catch myself calling this Friday, Black Friday. Then, I realize my mistake.
You have to admit. It fits in many ways. The day Jesus died has a lot to do with darkness, despair, and mourning.
After all, He was unjustly arrested, tried and put to death. It was for all the wrong reasons. Religious. Political. It was out of fear, disbelief, and a struggle for power. It should be shrouded in darkness, described as bleak and black. As evil, for it surely was. But the official Black Friday is all about shopping.
More precisely, it’s about spending. Spending from consumers so that retailers make a profit, so they bring in more than they spend. Fair enough. That’s how our balance sheets should read - in the black. In our government. At our homes. None of us should expend more than we take in.
Yet, we do. We’re deep in debt. That’s all the way from the federal level to most of our households. It just doesn’t make sense. But common sense isn’t always the catalyst for why we spend our money. Governments spend it for political reasons. Families spend it for social reasons.
So, the reasons why we overspend have something in common with those behind Christ’s crucifixion. The causes may not be the same, but in both cases, the motives are not pure.
The real “Black” Friday is many months away. This Friday is here and now. It’s here with its death and darkness and destruction. It’s when many of our churches put coverings over crosses. It’s when we mourn for an innocent man. It’s when we struggle to accept the injustice of His murder.It’s when He was flogged, ridiculed, and mocked mercilessly. It’s when He cried out to God, asking why He had been forsaken, stranded, and forgotten.
This was after He had washed the feet of those who followed Him. After He had reclined at the table and ate a meal with them. After He spoke words of comfort and encouragement to them. It’s when He was alone. It’s when on His last breath, He consoles His mother and provides for her wellbeing. It’s when He said, “It is finished.” It’s when He lowered his head and gave up His spirit.
Yes, that seems an awful lot like a black Friday to me. For three days, His followers lived that blackness. Their disappointment had to be overwhelming. The man they believed was the Messiah, their Savior, was gone, dead. Surely, the blackness of that Friday covered their hurting hearts like the draping hanging on those church crosses.
Yes, Friday’s here. And it’s terrible and awful and gut-wrenching. Death had swallowed up hope. Yes, it’s Friday. But as black as the brutal details make it, it’s not bad thing. It is a good Friday. It’s good because the blackness of my past deeds died along with that innocent man. Along with His death, came the death of my sin, and with that, came cleansing and freedom.
Yes, it’s Friday. And it’s good. It’s good indeed. And guess what? The good gets better. Sunday is just around the corner.