Since 1952, the day after Thanksgiving has been known as the day that kicks off holiday shopping with the biggest discounts of the year. We know this day as Black Friday. Little do people know, but there is a Black Friday that existed long before this shopping holiday came into existence: the Friday that Jesus was crucified for our sins.
Most Christians refer to that Friday as Good Friday, but it is also known as Great Friday or Black Friday. The reason it was referred to as Black Friday was because of the darkening of the sun mentioned in Matthew 27:45, which has been used alongside an astronomical approach to suggest an eclipse that took place on Friday, April 3rd, 33CE — historically the best guess for the year that Jesus was crucified.
“From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over the whole land.”
What saddens me is that most Christians do not observe or revere Black Friday. Black Friday services are either non-existent in churches, or they are the services with the least attendance. But three days later, on Easter Sunday, church attendance sky rockets, making Easter Sunday the most attended service of the year after Christmas services. As people we love to focus on the hope that is brought through the resurrection of Jesus, whilst ignoring the sacrifice that took place on Black Friday that made the resurrection possible.
There are numerous reasons why we avoid remembering what happened at Calvary. Perhaps we are shocked by death. As I interact with others about my own health situation, I’ve learned that so many Americans are not grateful for their good health and long lives. So many people expect good health, and some even demand it. When death strikes and messes up our expectations, we feel cheated and ripped off. If we had this mindset a hundred years ago, we’d be seen as unreasonable. Technological advances have managed to push death so far into the back of our minds that many unconsciously believe that someday, death will be conquered altogether. But whatever the reasons for our avoidance, we should begin to remember that day at Calvary.
God didn’t create a fallen world; we took his beautiful creation for granted and defied His instructions, thus bringing about sin and death for all of humanity. God’s plan was lost, but rather than abandoning us, He chose to save us. God became human, jumped into our mess headfirst and saved us from ourselves.
Jesus entered our broken world to make a way for us to be delivered from sin and death. The Cross is our reminder of Him overcoming darkness — not with brute force or with political advantages, but with complete submission by Christ, through suffering and torment, until He was able to deplete and exhaust it all.
“None of the rulers of this age knew this wisdom, because if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
1 Corinthians 2:8
Victory is seen most clearly on Easter, when we consider the resurrection, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll see that victory was His on Black Friday at Calvary. The freedom and possibility we have been afforded through salvation was sprouted from the roots of the blackest and ugliest Black Friday this world has ever seen. So I urge you to take a moment to give thanks for the true Black Friday today, and remember the sacrifice that was made for your soul.