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4 Powerful Good Friday Devotions

By contemplating the harshness of the cross and Jesus’ suffering, we recognize the glory of Easter Sunday.
Illustration of Jesus on the cross for a Good Friday devotion

Good Friday is the sixth day of Holy Week and an important day of observance during this sacred time of year. To bring you a deeper spiritual connection to the day, here are five Good Friday devotions:

READ MORE: Why Is Good Friday So Important?

1. Approach Good Friday with an Open Heart

by Susanna Foth Aughtmon

When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified. Matthew 27:31 (NLT)

I love the thought of fresh starts and living free because of all Jesus did on the cross. (Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!) It is easy for me to skim right over the Good Friday part of Easter because it is so very bloody and traumatic. I can’t stand the thought of His suffering, the evil of those who set their hearts against Him and the weeping of a mother seeing her son die.

I want the glory of Sunday morning and the angels and everything being set to rights. I want to get to the part where the stone is rolled away and the excitement of the empty tomb. The part where the disciples are incredulous when Jesus walks through locked doors and shows up asking for dinner. The truth is that there is no glorious “Christ is risen” without the preamble of “Christ has died”.

It is the awfulness of Good Friday that makes Easter so good. It is in His facing and conquering of death that we can see a way out of our own mess. He didn’t do it just so it would make a good Bible story. He died so we can get a chance at living the life He designed us for. Of being infused with His Spirit and being more than we ever thought we could be. He died because He loved us. Period.

And how do we, broken people that we are, respond to all that good strong loving? We can stand hearts open, not sidestepping Good Friday but acknowledging the severity of the cross and say, “I know what you did for me and I am thankful.” And I am just that. Thankful.

Faith step: Draw a picture of a cross in your journal. Write “Jesus loves me” across the center. Spend some time meditating about all Christ went through to save you and thank Him for it.

2. Good Friday Reflection

by Marci Alborghetti

Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights. —Isaiah 42:1

“There is a long walk I take when I’m in northern California. It starts in Sausalito, meanders into Mill Valley and ends near Tiburon. The route veers from the road onto a path through wetlands. A number of small wooden bridges cross streams connected to the massive bay. I was walking over one of these bridges on Good Friday, where I sometimes can spot a graceful crane. Floating down the river right toward me came a brown, dried-up Christmas tree…”

Read more of this Good Friday devotion and learn what this dried-up Christmas tree sighting meant. 

3. Good Friday Devotion: The Message of the Cross

by Pablo Diaz

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. —John 15:13

Growing up in a Spanish Pentecostal home, Good Friday was a sacred day in our family. Every Good Friday we spent from two to five in the afternoon in worship at church. We listened to preaching on the last seven words of Christ from the cross and sang the hymns, “The Old Rugged Cross” and “On the Cross Where I First Believed.” In my earlier years, the day was filled with doom and gloom. As I grew in my faith so did my understanding of the message of the cross.

Learn more in this Good Friday devotion and read how we can gain a deeper understanding of this holy day. 

4. A Devotion for Holy Week

by Erin Keeley Marshall

When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. —Matthew 27:50–52

How come this detail doesn’t get more notice? Many people came back to life on the day Jesus died. That’s a big deal! In all the Easter weeks I’ve spent in church, never once do I remember a single mention of the life that began at the moment of Jesus’s death. Each year when Good Friday arrives, the sky seems to hang lower, the atmosphere subdued by the weight of the universe and eternity and loss.

Read this Good Friday devotion and see what we can learn from this detail within the Book of Matthew. 


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