The Work of the People

APR 13, 2014 - Visual Epistles

Good Friday/Bad Friday

By Phuc Luu

We look forward to Fridays. That is for those of us who can take the weekends off. It marks the start of unburdening ourselves from the week. Friday is the door to the weekend and the weekend means temporary relief. 

Millions of Christians around the world will reflect on a special Friday, “Good Friday.” But was it all that good? For Jesus it was not the case. His tears, in the garden of Gethsemane, begged to be delivered from the path that led up to the horrible events of that Friday: “Remove this cup from me.” He did not want to drink from the chalice of suffering.

If Jesus himself did not see it was good, then who can say that it was good?

Who can say that betrayal by one’s own disciple is good?

Who can say that denial by one’s own friend is good?

Who can say abandonment by one’s own people is good?

Who can say beatings and floggings, and the execution of an innocent person is good?

Who can say?

But we, as Christians call it good.


Sit with me in these thoughts. Sit with the suffering God with me. Look up at him on the cross and see his pierced hands and side. Listen to his cry of abandonment, “Why have you forsaken me, my God?”

But if we can’t call it good, then what is it?

It was something that God made to be good. What we did that was bad, God changed it to what was good. 

God took our cruelty and ugliness.

God took our mistreatment of those different from us.

God took our need to blame the outsider, for all our shame and fears.

And God brought good out of it.

But God did not endorse it.

Nor did God tolerate it.

God dealt with it. Dealt with it in the way only God could,

With divine love.

So until we can sit with the crucified messiah, the suffering savior, for a moment on Good Friday, we will not realize how it is “good.” 

And this is how we can look forward to Friday.

About Altɐr

We believe there is an alternative narrative to the prevalent narrative of scarcity and fear. We believe God is moving and is behind an alternative narrative of abundance and freedom, a narrative in which fear gets defeated and love wins.

We believe God’s narrative requires we altǝr our perspective, that we step, in faith, into God’s upside down reality. In God’s reality we listen for, live and speak God’s upside down voice of faith, hope and love, not striving for ourselves but serving our neighbor. For all these reasons, this is Altǝr.

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