Lenten Devotion for Good Friday, April 18

By Rachael Varblow

The wall in the Sunday school area at St. Luke tells us that rituals and traditions are one of the keys to faith formation in the home.

I sometimes wonder if other families have Good Friday traditions. For as long as I remember Good Friday has carried as many traditions for our family as Easter or Christmas.

For us Good Friday starts with fasting from noon to three as we remember Jesus dying on the cross during that time. At noon we go to church and then on to my parents’ house. We cram as many kids as we can onto the couch in the living room with my mom in the middle. She reads to us from a children’s Bible, beginning with Judas’ betrayal and ending with Jesus’ burial.

Then she reads from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. She begins with Edmund’s betrayal and ends when Aslan lies dead and cold on the stone table. Then we sing worship songs.

These are the traditions, but what do they mean to us as a family, as individuals? My mom reads with great emotion, and she cries each time at the same spots: when Judas kisses Jesus, when Jesus asks John to take care of His mother, when His friends abandon Him. And always, always when Edmund comes to Aslan and receives forgiveness and redemption.

As kids we would tease my mom over her tears. As adults my sisters and I tear up right along with her, though we try to hide it.

The stories mean so much more to me now than they did as a child. Because I now look at Jesus’ immense sacrifice through the lens of my own sin and salvation. The thought that my sin held Jesus on the cross is overwhelming, but then I realize it wasn’t my sin that held him there. It was His love.

Yes, my sin separated me from God, and His sacrifice was the only option to reconnect me, but He had a choice. He chose death out of love. These Good Friday traditions help me to focus on that.

We pray: Lord, forgive us for our sins. Forgive us for the times we betray You, forgive us for the times we don’t care for others, forgive us when we abandon each other or turn from you. Thank you that You love us so much that You stayed on the cross for us, for me! Thank You that we receive forgiveness in You!

Family discussion:

What does your family do on Good Friday to help remember what Jesus has done for us? How do these traditions point you to Jesus and what He has done for you? Is there anything else you might like to do?

Everyday object:

Bring a copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to the table and read to the family the story of Aslan’s death. Discuss the similarities with that of Christ.