It’s Not Narcissist Friday!
Okay, let’s be honest. In the fall, as you look forward to that day when retailers drop their prices in a crazy hope that we will all flock to their stores and spend our money, do you ever slip and call that day, “Good Friday”? It’s Black Friday, of course, because retailers hope to slip out of the red and into the black (profit) column for the year. A serious percentage of income is brought to the stores that day.
Maybe it’s because I have spent so long in the church. I slip every once in a while and refer to that day as Good Friday. Maybe I think of it positively. Not as positively as I used to, I suppose. Now I try to avoid that craziness. I do still read the ads and hope for good deals.
But it’s not Good Friday.
Yet, many people seem to think of the Friday before Easter as something less than good. After all, that’s the day Jesus suffered on the cross. The pain must have been excruciating. The rejection must have broken His heart. Just seeing the pain of His mother and friends must have been terrible. And finally, after great suffering, He died. For those who watched, it was the end. The end of an amazing ministry. The end of true healing. The end of authoritative teaching. The end of wisdom and love and joy.
How could we call that day “good”?
Easter. Resurrection Day. That’s good! That’s the day of joy. That’s the day of celebration. Jesus was alive, and everyone was happy again. That was the good day.
Well, I suppose I can tie this back to narcissism after all. I suspect that the good of the Friday before Easter is something no narcissist and few legalists could understand. You see, the joy of that day was His! Jesus looked forward to that day with joy. The good of that day was in His heart.
How could Jesus view that day with joy? How could He look to it as good? He knew what He would suffer. He struggled as He thought of the pain. But He looked past the suffering to the purpose. When He saw the goal, He rejoiced.
The purpose of the cross was you! Jesus looked past the rejection and pain to see you, and you gave Him joy. Because of you, that day would be a good day always for Him.
…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
“For the joy that was set before Him.” That was you!
When Jesus spoke of the kingdom, He saw it in you. And it gave Him joy.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
The narcissist could never understand how anyone could suffer with joy. The legalist would have us look at the cross with shame. But Jesus wants us to know that His day of pain was a good day because it brought us to Him.
So, yes, it is Good Friday! Not a day to focus on the suffering, but on the joy in the Savior’s heart as He spent it all for you and me.
We are invited to look past His pain to see His joy.