|Some things are bitter and sweet at the same time. Certain kinds of fruit can be sour yet sweet. How about when a woman gives birth? She’s in pain yet she feels joy. Yes, a person can experience two different things at the same moment. Good Friday is both bitter and sweet.
That’s why, as a kid, I was so moved when I attended the Good Friday services at our little Reformed Episcopal church. The service was somber. Sometimes a black cloth was draped over the Communion table. Sad hymns were sung like “O Sacred Head Now Wounded”:
O sacred Head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thine only crown;
O sacred Head, what glory,
What bliss till now was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I joy to call Thee mine.
Most of all I recall leaving the church in silence. No one casually chatted out in the narthex. It was the one day of the church year that our congregation would come together in a somber mood. As a child, the seriousness of the occasion was branded in my memory. I’m glad. Happy Scripture choruses were appropriate for Resurrection Sunday, but Friday night was for pondering the incredible weight of our sins on our Savior.
At some point today, even if just for ten minutes, meditate on Calvary. Think about the cross. Contemplate the pain our Savior went through to secure our right to sing lighthearted Scripture choruses. Good Friday is a day to taste something sweet and something sour.
Lord Jesus, bring to my mind during the bustle of everyday life that Good Friday was the day you died. Thank you for that unspeakably enormous sacrifice.