Good Friday Reflection

For the dead cannot praise you; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can no longer hope in your faithfulness (Isaiah 38:18 NLT).

When Jesus said “it is finished” not a single witness to his suffering comprehended the depth of those words. Instead, they only saw his life finished. They saw the praise torn away from his lips. All hope was gone because Jesus, the son of God, had not been saved from the curse. The dead do not praise God.

Perhaps we don’t comprehend the meaning of Jesus’ words either. Perhaps we still look at the grave as a place of silence, where praise can no longer ring out. Maybe death still feels like a sign of God’s distance. But when Jesus said “it is finished” he was not speaking about himself. He was declaring the end of death.

Good Friday is the beginning of the end and instead of a Silent Saturday we have a Holy Saturday when seeming silence is filled with expectation.

The grave is no longer a place of silence but an occasion to reflect and embrace the assurance of new life. Today is Friday but Sunday is coming and when Sunday arrives, we can never look at Friday the same way. The gift of Good Friday is this, that we never have to have another one. Jesus died once and for all so that death can never mean hopelessness again.

The last enemy is death
Death has been swallowed up in victory
Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?
Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Cor. 15:26, 54-55, 57 NIV)

Nick Toews
Pastor of Community Engagement
Peace Mennonite Church
Richmond, BC