rev_walter_richardson_web.jpgMax Ludaco, in his wonderful book And The Angels were Silent describes Jesus’ journey during the final days of His  life: “From Jericho to Jerusalem. From the temple to the garden. From the garden to the trial. From Pilate’s palace to (Friday and) Golgotha’s Cross.”

That Friday is called Good Friday in much of the West. It is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week, is the culminating service during Lent, always precedes Easter Sunday and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover.

Good Friday represents a sobering reality of being caught between blessings. It’s the joy of experiencing a wonderful beginning and ending but being interrupted by the “bad stuff” in-between.

Jesus had this terrible, horrific chapter in His life between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. On Palm Sunday, Jesus intrigued the community with His unusual, noticeable entrance into the city before He would encounter injustice, inhumanity and insults later that same week. On Palm Sunday, He was recognized for His community involvement, and then He suffered accusations and separation. It was now Friday and there had been a sharp shift in attitudes from the same community He had served so faithfully.

Good Friday provides a valuable lesson on how to respond to God during our own seasons of difficult transition. We will move from the delight of home ownership to the dilemma of foreclosure; from the security of employment to the embarrassment of joblessness. We experience the challenges of dealing with aging parents in declining health, postgraduate uncertainty, business failure, changing community conditions, political upheavals and tense personal relationships. These conditions all represent some of the inevitable transitions we may face as part of our journey.

The good news of Good Friday is that our low moments of transition provide our greatest opportunity for spiritual growth and development. God intends for us to encounter His goodness and provision during those upsetting seasons.

Look at how Jesus handled His Friday. Although He had been congratulated on Sunday, He was confronted in the garden, convicted in court, condemned to be killed, yet He knew that these events were not the conclusion of His mission. But Jesus submitted himself to the cruelty of the trials and eventually the cross because He knew in the end His righteousness would conquer all of the adversity.

Like Jesus, learn to handle Friday so you can really enjoy Sunday. Hallelujah!

Dr. Walter T. Richardson is pastor-emeritus of Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church in south Miami-Dade County and chairman of the Miami-Dade Community Relations Board. He may be contacted at Website:

Photo: Walter T. Richardson