Have you ever wondered why it’s called “Good Friday”? I used to.

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I knew that it was a remembrance of that Friday when Jesus was crucified. But I didn’t understand what was “good” about evil men nailing to a cross the most wonderful Man who had ever lived.

From ages 10-13 I went to church because I wanted to. I was there Sunday mornings and evenings, mid-week and vacation Bible school. I memorized verses and was baptized but nobody ever explained what the Gospel meant for me personally.

I believed that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the Cross. The resurrection wasn’t a problem for me because death can’t conquer God. I couldn’t understand why God would allow His Son to die such a terrible death. I thought He must have been very angry at the human race, and me in particular.

As an adult, I would spend Good Friday afternoons in a bar. Why would I go to church and confront an angry God?

But even though I had given up on God, except in those foxhole emergencies, God didn’t give up on me. He responds to a heart seeking truth.

A good friend became a Christian and loved me enough to tell me that God loved me too. I saw the change in her life so I listened. I went to Bible study and church with her.

On Easter Sunday 1967, I responded in faith to the promise of Christ. “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:9). It’s about the best day there is to be raised from spiritual death to eternal life.

I finally understood that it was more than just believing historical facts. “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe and tremble” (James 2:19).

It was His Goodness and Grace that made that Friday Good. And He’s been nothing else to me ever since.

Jan LaRue is the former Chief Counsel for Concerned Women for America.

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