Two years ago, countless churches across the United States held Easter Sunday worship services only online or in a virtual context, during the initial phase of the pandemic.
Fast forward to today—as Easter 2022 arrives—churches are meeting in person (as well has having an online outreach). Turns out that online-only Easter Sunday was temporary, not a trend.
What is becoming an Easter trend, though, is more Evangelical churches, including Southern Baptists, are taking advantage of even more outreach and worship opportunities connected to the holiday.
From hosting Easter egg hunts for the community to neighborhood canvassing that invites people to church services, opportunities abound this time of year for outreach.
Easter time is also great for worship. From Palm Sunday to Good Friday, more and more churches are taking full advantage of celebrating Christ’s life, death and resurrection on Easter Week.
Emphasizing those additional days represents a bit of a change for some. Let’s focus, for a moment, on Good Friday. Previous generations might not make much of that day, for fear of looking too liturgical or even Catholic.
Yet now many in the Baptist world are seeing the “good” in Good Friday. Good Friday services are an excellent opportunity to proclaim the sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus, to focus our hearts on His great sacrifice on the cross (1 Cor. 1:23; 11:26) in the days leading into Easter Sunday.
Why have Christians through the centuries called Good Friday “Good”? I’m no theologian or church historian, but in doing some research, we find some clues.
One article said “Some sources suggest that the day is ‘good’ in that it is holy, or that the phrase is a corruption of ‘God’s Friday.’” I also found out that “the earliest known use of ‘guode friday’ is found in The South English Legendary, a text from around 1290. According to a … school text from 1885… Good Friday is good because Christ ‘showed His great love for man and purchased for him every blessing.’”
It is on Good Friday, therefore, that the greatest “good” happened in that Christ died for our sins and to save us. On this day, we commemorate, celebrate and recognize the atoning work and agonizing crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God.
When we embrace more occasions leading into Easter—like Palm Sunday and Good Friday—it only helps our hearts ramp up into Easter. It makes us more ready for full joy of Easter Sunday.
Now that 2020 Easter is fully behind us and as Easter 2022 is here, let’s let this highpoint on the church calendar be the time we tell everyone we can about Jesus. And let’s worship Him with all of our heart, souls, mind, strength—and church schedules!
“Hallelujah! Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!”