Good Friday, the forgotten holiday.

Good Friday is the forgotten holiday that speaks honestly (and brutally) about your past while inviting you do bury it with Jesus.

He died in our place, bringing us back to God. 1

We gather in reflect in the dark, without the cultural decorations (and relative obligations) of Easter Sunday, for each day needs the other. Without the resurrection Jesus’ death seems heartless, yet, through the cross the eternal life He offers carries the weight of God’s love.

When He cried out, “It is finished!” Jesus accomplished far more than we’ve ever dared to imagine.

I encourage you to find a Gospel-centered local church and participate in a Good Friday gathering, sharing this day with others near the foot of the Cross.

If you’re in Clackamas County, please join us as four Oregon City churches collectively contemplate His words, work and worth in the Cup, the Garden, the Trials, and the Cross. 



  1. 1 Peter 3:18

Friday of Holy Week: It is finished.

Kari continues writing meditations for each day of Holy Week

Friday’s Reading: Matthew 26:47-27:51, Mark 14:43-15:38, Luke 22:47-23:49, John 18:3-19:37

“It is finished.”

—Jesus (John 19:30)

I clicked “send”, made sure it went through, then closed my laptop and exhaled in relief: Ahh…It’s finished. I’d been working on it night and day, and when I wasn’t working on it I was thinking about working on it. Ever been there? It’s not so much the time you spend working on something but the time you spend thinking about working on it. My mind and energies were depleted. As soon as the kids were settled for the afternoon, I crawled into my bed and took a nap, the first time I’d really rested that week.

I couldn’t rest until it was finished.

And as soon as it was, my whole body knew it. The sleep that had evaded me swept back all at once as I slept soundly despite the bright afternoon sun. The rest of knowing it is finished.

We rest because we know that it is finished.

Today, Good Friday, we meditate on Christ’s final words, His victorious cry from the cross of Calvary, the sacred words that fill my eyes with tears:

“It is finished.” (John 19:30)

From eternity past Jesus had a project. Nothing surprises God, and it was not Plan B that Jesus had to die in our place. He knew all along, and Jesus knew all along that this was His project. In a divine sort of way, Jesus never rested. Until then.

Then He finished.

In one final surrendering act Jesus “gave up His spirit” and the full wrath of God was poured out on His sinless perfect lamb. All the punishment for my selfishness, my pride, my greed. All the punishment for the rapists and robbers, swindlers and sex-traffickers. The most heinous of crimes, He took the punishment. He laid down His spirit. Died.

But of course Sunday’s coming.

But here’s where I get excited. Do you know what Jesus did after He rose from the dead? After he appeared, bodily, to more than 500 people? After he gave the great commission and then ascended into heaven? Do you know what He did after that?

He sat down.

Why? Because it was finished.

“But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 10:12)

I took a nap. Jesus sat down at the right hand of God. His work was done. Finished. But here’s the beautiful part.
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How can we believe that He saves others when He can’t get off that bloody cross?

On that wretched day the soldiers mocked him,
Raucous laughter in a barracks room,
“Hail the king!” they sneered, while spitting on him,
Brutal beatings on this day of gloom.
Though his crown was thorn, he was born a king—
Holy brilliance bathed in bleeding loss—
All the soldiers blind to this stunning theme:
Jesus reigning from a cursed cross.

Awful weakness mars the battered God-man,
Far too broken now to hoist the beam.
Soldiers strip him bare and pound the nails in,
Watch him hanging on the cruel tree.
God’s own temple’s down! He has been destroyed!
Death’s remains are laid in rock and sod.
But the temple rises in God’s wise ploy:
Our great temple is the Son of God.

“Here’s the One who says he cares for others,
One who says he came to save the lost.
How can we believe that he saves others
When he can’t get off that bloody cross?
Let him save himself! Let him come down now!”—
Savage jeering at the King’s disgrace.
But by hanging there is precisely how
Christ saves others as the King of grace.

Draped in darkness, utterly rejected,
Crying, “Why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus bears God’s wrath alone, dejected—
Weeps the bitt’rest tears instead of me.
All the mockers cry, “He has lost his trust!
He’s defeated by hypocrisy!”
But with faith’s resolve, Jesus knows he must
Do God’s will and swallow death for me.

—Source: D.A. Carson, Scandalous, pp. 36-37.