By Justin Holcomb
Why do we call Good Friday “good,” when it is such a dark and bleak event commemorating a day of suffering and death for Jesus?
For Christians, Good Friday is a crucial day of the year because it celebrates what we believe to be the most momentous weekend in the history of the world. Ever since Jesus died and was raised, Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation. Paul considered it to be “of first importance” that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3).
On Good Friday we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (1 John 1:10). It is followed by Easter, the glorious celebration of the day Jesus was raised from the dead, heralding his victory over sin and death and pointing ahead to a future resurrection for all who are united to him by faith (Romans 6:5).
Still, why call the day of Jesus’ death “Good Friday” instead of “Bad Friday” or something similar? Some Christian traditions do take this approach: in German, for example, the day is called Karfreitag, or “Sorrowful Friday.” In English, in fact, the origin of the term “Good” is debated: some believe it developed from an older name, “God’s Friday.” Regardless of the origin, the name Good Friday is entirely appropriate because the suffering and death of Jesus, as terrible as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save his people from their sins.
In order for the good news of the gospel to have meaning for us, we first have to understand the bad news of our condition as sinful people under condemnation. The good news of deliverance only makes sense once we see how we are enslaved. Another way of saying this is that it is important to understand and distinguish between law and gospel in Scripture. We need the law first to show us how hopeless our condition is; then the gospel of Jesus’ grace comes and brings us relief and salvation.
In the same way, Good Friday is “good” because as terrible as that day was, it had to happen for us to receive the joy of Easter. The wrath of God against sin had to be poured out on Jesus, the perfect sacrificial substitute, in order for forgiveness and salvation to be poured out to the nations. Without that awful day of suffering, sorrow, and shed blood at the cross, God could not be both “just and the justifier” of those who trust in Jesus (Romans 3:26). Paradoxically, the day that seemed to be the greatest triumph of evil was actually the deathblow in God’s gloriously good plan to redeem the world from bondage.
The cross is where we see the convergence of great suffering and God’s forgiveness. Psalms 85:10 sings of a day when “righteousness and peace” will “kiss each other.” The cross of Jesus is where that occurred, where God’s demands, his righteousness, coincided with his mercy. We receive divine forgiveness, mercy, and peace because Jesus willingly took our divine punishment, the result of God’s righteousness against sin. “For the joy set before him” (Hebrews 12:2) Jesus endured the cross on Good Friday, knowing it led to his resurrection, our salvation, and the beginning of God’s reign of righteousness and peace.
Good Friday marks the day when wrath and mercy met at the cross. That’s why Good Friday is so dark and so Good.
Justin Holcomb is an Episcopal priest and teaches theology at Reformed Theological Seminary and Knox Theological Seminary. Justin wrote On the Grace of God and co-authored with his wife Lindsey Rid of My Disgrace and Save Me from Violence. He is also the editor of Christian Theologies of Scripture. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and at JustinHolcomb.com.
It is vitally important that you do your best to choose the perfect landscaping contractor to work on your yard or project. You cannot afford to choose randomly from the Yellow Pages when looking for a good landscaping contractor because with this method you have no way of actually knowing if they are any good at all. And you need your landscaping contractor to be good, very good.
You can talk to the landscaping contractors that you see in the phone book but do not choose one before you have talked to them and seen some of what the landscaping contractor can do for you. You may be able to get them to actually take you to some of their previous projects, this is the best way to see what they can do for your yard. There are other ways of course such as pictures. You can have them show you a portfolio of their past work as well. This too is a good way to help you make your final decision as to which landscaping contractor to choose.
This landscaping contractor will be the one to come up with the design of your entire yard perhaps in the front and the back yards. You want your landscaping contractor needs to be creative and full to brimming with all kinds of fantastic ideas. So when you have your meeting with the landscaping contractor, have them come over to your home. He or she, or the whole team should come over and go over your yard with you. They should also give you some top ideas for how they can transform your yard into a wonderland of awe.
There are many ways in which the landscaping contractor can do this. They can use slopes and hills or they can use color and texture. The landscaping contractor that you choose will have their own ways of doing tings and making an impression, you just need to make sure that this impression will be one that you want to make as well. You do not want to get stuck with a yard that look like crap do you? That is why you need to see some samples of what this landscaping contractor can do for you.
Having a low maintenance front yard is the goal of many people. You can get easy to manage front yard landscaping done by any of the professional landscapers in your area or you can do it yourself. Either way you can have front yard landscaping done that will take minimal work to keep looking fantastic all year round. If you are going to get a professional in to do your front yard landscaping though, be sure to tell him that this is your over all goal, that you want to have a yard that will not take a lot of work to keep up.
If you have less grass in your front yard landscaping then you will cut out a lot of maintenance time right there. Mowing the lawn can take up a lot of time and energy so keeping the grass to a minimum is a great way to save on work. Talk to the front yard landscaping expert about alternative that you can use to keep your yard look good with little lawn area.
Some people choose to use clover instead of grass. Using a clover lawn in your front yard landscaping is a good idea because it will save you money and time. You will not have to mow it very often at all and a clover lawn is even good for front yard landscaping in area that is prone to droughts. They do well virtually everywhere. And best of all for those who want to get out there and enjoy their front yard landscaping, bugs hate clover.
Watering the yard can be a big hassle as well. That is why many people incorporate automatic irrigation systems into their front yard landscaping designs these days. This can save you tons of time and money. This is one of the easiest ways for you to keep your yard looking healthy and well watered during the hotter months of the year. No more hooking up the sprinkler or having to drag out the hose. You can get a professional to install one of these systems for your front yard landscaping design quickly and easily or you can get a kit and do it yourself. I would recommend getting in a professional however, unless you have experience with this kind of thing. If you were to cause a leak then you could face some flooding and rotting and neither of these is going to do anything for your front yard landscaping, do you know what I mean?
To hear the word concrete you may not think that it would be something to want in your yard but in fact, concrete landscaping has come along way in the last 10 years or so. Now concrete landscaping is all the rage and it is very pretty too.
You can use concrete landscaping for many different parts of your yard. Most people use concrete landscaping ideas and designs for the walkways and paths that wind through their gardens. This is more for those with larger yards but even if your yard is small it could do with some concrete landscaping. You could put down a lively patio that you and your friends could it at to have drinks or tea. There is nothing more fun than a little party out on the patio on a nice day.
Stone walls are another form of concrete landscaping that has really caught on like wildfire. Walls are what will frame the whole home. They are the gorgeous and steely frame to the glorious painting that is your front and back yard. There are many other reasons to have concrete landscaping such as walls as well. These walls are perfect for keeping your pet in the yard. If you have a dog that is prone to run away then look into this kind of concrete landscaping. These walls are also very good for keeping intruders out. The harder your home is to get into the less likely burglars will be to bother trying. So look into this type of concrete landscaping today and talk to a professional about it.
You can also use concrete landscaping to keep your soil in place. If there is a part of your yard that is prone to slipping then you can build a retention wall expressly for this purpose. The best thing about concrete landscaping is that while it can be functional you can make it look as if it is just there for looks. There is so much that you can do with concrete landscaping because concrete is so easy to work with. You can use concrete landscaping bricks or you can use whole solid slabs. You can even get custom made concrete landscaping stones that are in unique and creative shapes and patters. Take some time and see what all is out there in terms of concrete landscaping, you might just be surprised.
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