Here in Sweden, today is not known as Good Friday but The Long Friday (långfredagen) because ‘the day was marked by sorrow when the day was long and hard for Jesus.’
I was struck by The Gospel of Mark’s account and it’s repetition in just a few verses. This is from the ESV
“And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. And it was the third hour when they crucified him. And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.” Mark 15:24-27
Just in case we missed this – they crucified him. Brutal.
But the significance of this event is not only or simply in the fact that Jesus was crucified, but in what else was crucified. By faith I was crucified with him too (Rom 6:6; Gal 2:20), with all my old self’s desires (Gal 5:24) but also the world was crucified to me (Gal 6:14), I with equal brutality condemn the world and all it offers – it is worthy of death.
So the long Friday is a day of death but not just Christ’s death but the death of the world to me, the death of its hold on me because until it is remade it is not my home and I am passing through. Instead I have a new life, a new hope, a new destiny and one we celebrate because although today is marked by sorrow for my sin that caused my Saviour to die, I know the end of the story. I know that death is defeated and life in Christ wins the day. I know Sunday is coming.