I did not grow up in a liturgical church and as a result, my very first Good Friday service happened in my twenties when a co-worker asked me to go with her to the noon service being held not far from where we worked. It was a beautiful service and I experienced a deeper appreciation for Jesus’ sacrifice than I ever had before. I had always loved Easter hymns with their joyous, triumphant sound but this Good Friday service felt very different. Focusing on the price Jesus paid and the pain he endured when he went to the cross provided me with a deeper understanding of how full his victory was on Easter morning. That Easter was the most joyous one I could ever remember! It was a lesson I did not want to forget and Good Friday services became a part of my life and continued to be an annual event for my family after I married and had children.
In 1 Peter, chapter 4, we read that we are to rejoice when we share Christ’s sufferings that we might rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. My natural human tendency is to want to avoid suffering, but this passage—and Easter — tell me that suffering can bring about a greater joy, because in the end God is victorious and we share that victory!
As Easter approaches, it is a good time to pray and reflect on how we have experienced Jesus’ sacrifice. Have we shared it with our grandchildren? How can we best do that? Text? Email? Card? Could we bring them to church with us? Is a conversation at the dinner table an option?
Jesus on the cross is proof of God’s love, and his resurrection is proof of his final victory! These are two truths we should cherish and appreciate. Let us look for ways to help our children and grandchildren experience and treasure the love that made Good Friday “good” and leads to the joy of every Easter morning.
Marion Schleusener lives in Lansing, Michigan and has six grandchildren.
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