I've often thought that Good Friday is a misnomer for the "holiday" we observe this time every year. Because what happened to Christ on the cross of Calvary was anything but good. It was horrific, it was gory, it was excruciating, and ultimately it was fatal. But then came Sunday! I think we should call Easter "Good Sunday", what do you think?
Christ's death on the cross wasn't the end of the story. His resurrection from the dead three days later was, however, just the beginning. Everything changed that day, and all for the better.
He is risen!
(And you say: "He is risen indeed!")
I hope you'll enjoy these quotes by people much smarter than myself in regards to the truth about why we celebrate Easter...Feel free to use any of them for your Tweets or Facebook statuses this weekend. I'm probably going to do so myself.
1) "The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in His ultimate triumph, and in His goodness and love, which nothing can shake." ~ Basil Hume
2) "To a Christian, Easter Sunday means everything, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ." ~ Bernhard Langer
3) "I believe that His [Christ's] death and resurrection transformed humanity's relationship with God." ~ Timothy Radcliffe
4) "If one does away with the fact of the Resurrection, one also does away with the Cross, for both stand and fall together, and one would then have to find a new center for the whole message of the Gospel." ~ Hans Urs von Balthasar
5) "Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime." ~ Martin Luther
6) "Questioning the Resurrection undermines the very heart of Christian belief." ~ Dan Brown
7) "The foundation of our religion is a basis of fact – the fact of the birth, ministry, miracles, death, resurrection by the Evangelists as having actually occurred, within their own personal knowledge." ~ Simon Greenleaf
8) "Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there." ~ Clarence W. Hall
9) "Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer; Death is strong, but Life is stronger; Stronger than the dark, the light; Stronger than the wrong, the right..." ~ Phillips Brooks
10) "We live and die; Christ died and lived!" ~ John Stott
11) "Once more to new creation Awake, and death gainsay, For death is swallowed up of life, And Christ is risen today!" ~ George Newell Lovejoy
12) "There is not room for Death, Nor atom that His might could render void; Thou – Thou art Being and Breath, And what Thou art may never be destroyed." ~ Emily Bronte
13) "Live in the awareness that Christ lives and that He lives in His people." ~ Julien B. Weil
14) "The tomb of Christ is famous because of what it DOES NOT CONTAIN." ~ Sam Miller
15) "The point is not that the resurrection is the price paid for our sins. The point is that the resurrection proves the death of Jesus is an all-sufficient price. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then His death was a failure, God did not vindicate His sin-bearing achievement, and we are still in our sins." ~ John Piper
16) "Christianity begins where religion ends...with the resurrection." ~ Herbert Booth Smith
17) "Men point to the sad incidents of human life on earth, and they ask, 'Where is the love of God?' God points to that Cross as the unreserved manifestation of love so inconceivably infinite as to answer every challenge and silence all doubt forever. And that Cross is not merely the public proof of what God has accomplished; it is the earnest of all that He has promised." ~ Sir Robert Anderson
18) "The resurrection proclamation could not have maintained in Jerusalem for a single day, for a single hour, if the emptiness of the tomb had not been established as a fact." ~ Paul Althus
19) "The stone was rolled away from the door, not to permit Christ to come out, but to enable the disciples to go in." ~ Peter Marshall
20) "For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures...And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable." ~ Apostle Paul – I Corinthians 15: 3 - 4, 17 - 19 (NKJV)
And last but definitely not least...
21) "It's Friday...but Sunday's coming!" ~ A black minister from Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA (Tony Campolo is responsible for making his own minister's sermon the well-known piece that it is today, though the minister's actual name [to my knowledge, at least] has never been publicized.)
A text version of this amazing sermon does not do it justice. You just have to watch (and listen to) the video!