Jesus and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

So they took Jesus; 17and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. 18There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.’ 20Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. 21Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, ‘Do not write, “The King of the Jews”, but, “This man said, I am King of the Jews.” 22Pilate answered, ‘What I have written I have written.’ (John 19:16b-22, NRSV)

There is a delightful children’s book by Judith Viorst that was the inspiration for this devotional.  In it, a child named Alexander runs through the course of a day and has all kinds of horrible things happen to him.  He gets gum in his hair, his best friend is only his “third” best friend, and the whole thing just turns out a mess.  Alexander wishes that he could be somewhere (Australia) where they don’t have bad days.  Of course, his mother reminds Alexander that even in Australia, people have bad days.  It’s a delightful children’s book that teaches not-so-subtly that bad days are just a part of life.

So get over it kid!  Wait….I mean…hmmm, what is the point again? 

You would think Good Friday would be called anything but Good Friday.  It is the day when we commemorate the crucifixion and death of our God, Jesus Christ.  We should not shrink away from the pain, loneliness, and rejection of this “Good” holiday; to do so would lessen the miraculous and victorious resurrection that is to follow.  But is it really a good day?  The son of God suffers out of love for you and me.  He suffers because of the evil and hate in the world and what some would call the “defeat” of his ministry as the Messiah.

Of course, we know, that several days later he defeats death and rises again to prove just how powerful and loving he is.  But does the Easter morning make Friday night, “good”?

Jesus sacrifice on this holy day is not good for God.  Indeed, death scares us all because it is inevitable.  What should be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day is truthfully good because God can make all things good (Romans 8:28), even death on a cross.

You might have some rough days.  Friends may turn on you, you may lose your job or a loved one, and you might wake up with gum in your hair.  But one who walked the earth named Jesus had a “Good” day, that paid for every bad thing that we’ve ever done.

And yes, even God has bad days.


  1. I've often been bothered by that name "Good Friday". Good for us, but a very bad day for Jesus. Guess the main point is . . . then came Sunday!
    Thanks for sharing.


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