What’s So Good About Good Friday?

Here is a day to remember – the day God died.

And in the moment of a phrase and the breath of a word we have entered into Mystery.

Pause with me and consider the astonishing story that reveals a love that stuns us into silence…

Without a word, the Word, who spoke all things into existence, suffers treachery and betrayal and calls him friend.

Scandalized and seething with malevolence, the frenzied mob screams for his blood, even while the One who is Love sees the absolute loveliness of the very ones who lust for his death.

The excruciating, gratuitous torture the Son of man endures that day unmistakably and conclusively reveals that the God above all submits to the most heinous evil his loved ones can imagine to do upon him.

Sneering with contempt and hissing venom in their taunts, they mock the One who is before all things, “Save yourself…. if you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

So other-centered is his love that even while bearing the scorn of his little ones, his heart breaks, as does his silent suffering. For bordering on suffocation, the One who breathed life into everything, gasps for air and lovingly prays, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”

And the Father already has.

The nails driven into his flesh conclusively banish any and all religions that would have us believe the God who creates and upholds the cosmos by love, is in some other part of himself one who would destroy.*

The divine community we call God, is not conflicted about what is happening. We may be, but they are not. They do not seek to pardon us; They will to save us.

There is nothing in the heart of the Living God that needs to be appeased.

The only thing God cares to destroy is sin.

What kind of metaphysical juggling is it to frame this staggering spectacle of love into some mere cosmic judicial balancing of the scales? Does God command us to not murder, then murder his One and Only beloved Son?

There is nothing in the heart of the Living God that needs to be appeased.

The Lamb slain before the foundations of the world is Light. There is no darkness in Him.                                                                                   The Father who is father to all, over all, through all, and in all, is Light. There is no darkness in Him.                                                                       The Spirit who communes, comforts, and unites all things is Light. There is no darkness in Him.

And these Three are One.

The God who is has united Himself to humanity. This is the Incarnation.

And he has graciously gone from deep to deeper; entering into the darkest room of our soul, where, in our complete blindness we strike out in fury, pounding nails into his flesh and murder the very One who is Life and Light to us. And it is right there, in his union with us at our worst, that the lover of our souls heals the souls that he loves.

Indeed… this was a good Friday.

Thank you Kenneth Tanner

Meet up with John MacMurray in the flesh on June 9th.

Categories: Blog


  1. Kyle says:

    What a great post to remind us of God’s deep love for us! Love and miss you!

  2. Bob Wilson says:

    I really enjoyed, John. Thanks for sending. Especially the thought:
    “There is nothing in the heart of the Living God that needs to be appeased.”
    Sorry we didn’t connect on your recent eastward visit.

  3. Bill Winn says:

    Hey John, this is “cookies on the bottom shelf”! I am encouraged by the simplicity of your blog. Further, I am consistently dumbfounded by Christian’s unwillingness to apply the critical thinking skills to the Gospel that they do in other aspects of life. It makes no sense to believe God doesn’t want us to murder but would then murder, not just anyone but his own Son. Thanks for writing this!

  4. Sherrilou McGregor says:

    Beautiful post. Only one point to possibly question: your masculine designation of the biblically feminine Holy Spirit. I know, God has no gender, but if we are going to use ‘he’ then a ‘she’ in the Trinity would be mightily appreciated. As a woman, Baxter Kruger, Paul Young and Richard Rohr’s teachings on this subject have blessed me beyond words. It can be tough for a woman to feel she’s created in God’s image if the image is portrayed as only masculine! Blessings always and love your teachings.

  5. linda Smith says:

    I love the whole article and am most touched by the phrase “the divine community we call God”. Thank you for using your gifts of understanding and writing so the rest of us can partake.

  6. Phillip Carnuccio says:

    John , thank you for allowing His life and love to flow from you into us

  7. Sparrow says:

    This was beautiful! I am so glad I don’t have to worry about ‘getting back on God’s good side’ because God doesn’t have a bad side, only all good sides! Nothing that is against me or has to be appeased, I love that! Sometimes the verses on the wrath of God confuse me, but I just know deep in my heart He isn’t wrath so I just figure I don’t understand it all yet, and that it WILL make sense one day..thank you for sharing this wonderful truth of such a loving Papa!


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