By Faith Eury Cho —
We call today Good Friday.
It is the day that commemorates the unfair treatment of our King. It is the day that remembers His betrayal, from His closest friends. It is the day when the world allowed Him to be wrongly accused. His reputation – trampled. His name – tarnished. His body – torn apart.
And yet, we call it good.
Usually when the Bible calls anything good it is when referencing the things of God and from God. Before sin invited a great curse upon our land, everything was good (Genesis 1-3). It was fruitful and whole. Nothing was broken. There was no suffering or pain. It was good.
Temptation is when we are faced with a possible redefinition of “good.”
The snake approached Eve with a new perspective. It says in Genesis 3:6, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it…”
The fruit was useful, beautiful, and pleasurable. It was everything that one would want for one’s life. To Eve, this became good.
The spoiler alert of this story is that there is nothing good apart from God. The beauty of the Garden was not in the way that it perfectly served Adam and Eve’s every need and desire. Rather, its beauty came from the Presence of God. It was a place where God’s Presence was so close that they could hear Him taking a walk in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). God was in charge of this garden. That’s what made it good.
There are times, when my life as a minister and mother of four becomes overwhelming. Sometimes, the day doesn’t go as planned. Although there is much joy, there is also much pain. Once in a while, when someone asks me how my life is going, I take a brief moment to make an honest assessment. Occasionally, my response could easily be “too much,” or “unfair,” or “discouraging.” When circumstances are not easy or people are burdensome, the way I could easily describe my life is “not good.”
Yet, in moments like these, I make sure to take a second look into my life. Once I do, I see God’s gentle hands over every minute detail of it. I see the way He takes difficult situations and use them for His glory. I see how He brings victory into my battles, even in ways that I may not recognize at first. Sometimes, pain blinds us from seeing God in the midst of our lives. The way to heal that is gratitude. Gratitude reopens those blind eyes.
I am sure it was painful to watch Jesus on the cross on that fateful day.
His skin dangling around His wounds…
Thick blood dripping all over his face…
The smell of open flesh…
The torment in His groans…
The harsh, splintered wood that He hung on…
It was cruel and devastating. But, it was good – so very, very good. God was enacting justice in the midst of this injustice. His love for us was ever so palpable, even in this scene of hate. This execution is so good that it is forever a sign of pure love. The wood that His body hung on is now dangling as symbols around our necks, on the walls of our churches, and as bumper stickers on our cars.
There is no amount of pain that the world can inflict upon you that the goodness of God cannot overshadow.
It is this very reality that encourages us to see beauty in all seasons of life, whether easy or difficult. Therefore, next time there are things like loss, pain, or persecution, we know what to say if someone were to ask us how life is going.
It is good.
It is very good.