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What's So Good About Good Friday (6 of 7)
Series: Day by Day with Jesus
Good Friday is a problem. First, there is the name. We call it good. No one called it good then.
Then there's what happened. They killed Jesus. Everything had looked so different on Palm Sunday. The crowds cheered. Even Monday and Tuesday were very different from Friday. Jesus took charge. He cleared the temple and confounded his adversaries. Even the events of Wednesday and Thursday have their share of good times and warm feelings. Jesus and his friends share a family Passover together. Everything changed on Friday. Good Friday is a problem.
The big problem is the cross. Many people like the teachings of Jesus. His miracles astound and attract. Everyone likes the stories of his good deeds and loving example. That's part of the Christian message. But it's not the heart of it. ''We preach Christ and him crucified,'' the Bible declares. ''We glory in the cross,'' we sing. Good Friday is the day of the cross!
On the surface, it is hard to find anything good about Good Friday. It was a bad day in every way until you see it as God saw it. Good Friday is only as good as our understanding of God's redemption plan.
Tony Compolo captured that message in his classic sermon ''It's Friday, but Sunday's Coming.'' Perhaps you have heard Compolo on televison. He is a short, round, bald, fast-talking, Italian-American, seventy-one year old sociology professor at Eastern College in Philadelphia. Time Magazine listed him as one of America's great preachers. You may remember his name as one of former President Clinton's spiritual advisors. His fame as a preacher is due in large measure to this one sermon. Campolo says his sermon was inspired by one he heard from the preacher of the African-American church he attends when not traveling. In his sermon, Compolo insists that we will never understand Good Friday unless you remember what happens next. Here's the idea:
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