Charles Dickens got it exactly right in the opening sentences of A Tale of Two Cities. He said, “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness.”
Those iconic words were written over 150 years ago. They could have been written this morning. Or 1,000 years ago.
Civilizations rise and fall, but every generation faces the same fundamental paradoxes: Love and hate. Wealth and poverty. Good and evil. Existential opposites that have always been with us. And always will be.
The dark side of Good Friday openly acknowledges that humanity suffers. Sometimes unfairly. Good people die tragically, and bad people live long, prosperous lives. Logic and certainty get turned on their heads, and we’re confronted with the hard, cold reality that things don’t always work the way we want them to.
But hang on. Don’t abandon hope just yet. There’s a reason it’s called Good Friday, after all. Today reminds us that Jesus can bring beauty out of something truly ugly and broken. His death and resurrection are what enable joy and life to emerge out of suffering and death.
To paraphrase Dickens: Good Friday turns our seasons of darkness into seasons of light. It turns our winters of despair into springs of hope. Good Friday is about life overcoming death. Redemption overcoming judgment.
Good Friday is a paradox. Because life is a paradox.
I invite you to join us on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Good Friday: A Roman’s Perspective.” We’re featuring a recorded presentation by Dr. Joe White that will help you experience the crucifixion of Jesus Christ through the eyes of a Roman cross-builder. Hear the Good News that came from Christ’s death.
Tune in on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or on our free phone app.
You can also get a copy of Dr. Joe White’s book Irresistible Love: A Journey to the Heart of Jesus for a donation of any amount. Give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). Or visit our website for more information.
Easter Sunday is this weekend, and though the coronavirus pandemic will make your time of worship look a lot different this year, I hope you’ll find a way to connect with other believers virtually.
Crises like COVID-19 demonstrate the importance of Easter. We all suffer in this life, but we can endure with real hope. Easter is all about God saving humanity in a way that it could never save itself.
That’s why Easter is one of my favorite holidays.
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