What is “good” about loss? What is good about the gut-wrenching feelings of failure, disappointment, and lost hope?
As we look at the Biblical story of Jesus, it seems weird to call the brutal execution of an innocent man “good”. The historical celebration of “Good Friday”, aka “Holy Friday” is a time to remember when the proclaimed Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, was crucified in April of 33 A.D.
Jesus’s death marked a sudden end to a growing movement of which His followers hoped would lead to freedom from their oppressors, both physical and spiritual. It was the ending of an improbable run.
Let’s take it from a basketball perspective (warning: the analogy is limited).
Imagine your team has been struggling for years and FINALLY a coach (“Coach”) comes and miraculously starts to turn things around. The whole league is seeing the change, the potential, and the legitimate threat your team poses.
Your team experiences some major wins, and the overall confidence is up. You have hopes of making the playoffs and some say you have a chance to take the number one spot – maybe even become champions.
Coach seems to push all the right buttons and know the exact right plays and schemes. Coach has you putting in the best work you’ve ever done, and the team is seeing results. The playoffs are approaching, everything is coming to a culmination, and then…
Coach is fired.
Better yet, Coach is run out of town for reasons you don’t understand or were completely erroneous. None of it makes sense and all the team can do is think, “what are we supposed to do now?”
(This is where the analogy becomes limited, so I’ll stop here)
We can all resonate with the feelings of loss and disappointment. I can only imagine the depth of pain and confusion Jesus’ followers were going through at the time when He was arrested, tried, and nailed to the cross.
But Jesus’ words, recorded in the Book of John, point to an ultimate Good and Purpose to come from this loss. He said, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away…” (John 16:7)
He further explains, “…You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy” (John 16:20).
This is the GOOD NEWS. Amid loss, pain, and the bleak outlook of our circumstance, Jesus promised that “sorrow will turn into joy.”
Now, does this mean that all things will immediately turn into championship rings and MVP trophies?
In John 16:33 Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation…” So, things are still going to be a struggle and loss will still come.
BUT, the HOPE and HELP that Jesus promised was also highlighted when he said, “…take heart; I have overcome the world.”
If you know the rest of the story, you know the life-giving miracle that follows the crucifixion. If you don’t, read John chapters 16 thru 21.
The reason we can call loss “Good” on the Friday we remember/celebrate the crucifixion of Jesus…
…because Sunday was loading.
Here are some AMAZING videos to help bring the point to light (From the book of Luke):