Jumping to Conclusion

by | Mar 28, 2024 | Judging, Resurrection

I didn’t go to the Good Friday service at my church this past Good Friday. It was my decision to not go. Nobody twisted my arm into not going, and in the end, I was happy to have not gone. 

Pretty shocking, isn’t it? I mean, this is probably the most important celebration of the entire year for Christians. Yes, the celebration of Jesus’ birth is important, as is the celebration of His resurrection. But there would never have been an Easter Sunday if it hadn’t been for Good Friday. As wonderful as the resurrection is, it is Good Friday that really teaches us Kingdom values, values such as sacrifice and selfless love. 

Nonetheless, I willingly passed up the opportunity last year to go to church on Good Friday, and I can only imagine what kinds of negative thoughts may be going through your heads right now… 

When I think about this, my mind returns to the first Good Friday: “Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water…Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus…With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away…Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.” (John 17:31-33, 38a,c, 42 NIV)

What were Jesus’ closest friends and family and followers thinking when He went to the cross? Some probably thought He wouldn’t let it happen, or in the end there would be a great show of miracles as He came down from the cross. How disappointed they must have been when Joseph took His body, wrapped it up and laid it in an empty tomb. All of their hopes, dashed to pieces…

It all makes me think… As humans, we tend to be a bit quick to jump to conclusions, aren’t we? Because we have the advantage of reading the story as history, we already know that Jesus would rise again and that He would deliver us from even greater enemies than the Romans: He would deliver us from sin! And that’s a good thing. But Jesus’ family, friends and followers didn’t know all of that, and they found themselves spiraling into frustration, disappointment, and I suspect even anger. 

Isn’t it the human tendency is to make hasty – and usually wrong! – assessments of the situation at hand? We tend to be – judgmental! And being judgmental leads us to anger and unforgiveness. What if, in the face of bad circumstances, we were to refrain from being judgmental? If we were to quell our anger and stop the negative thoughts? Then we, too, would save ourselves from unnecessary anger, disappointment and frustration. Is it for nothing that we are told over and over again, “Do not judge…” (Matthew 7:1a NIV)?

We also tend, as humans, to gravitate towards the worst possible scenario, and this leads us to anguish and worry and stress. If Jesus’ followers and closest friends had refrained from making hasty assessments of the situation, they would have saved themselves hours of agony and distress. And without the overlay of stress, maybe they would have remembered – and understood! – that Jesus had said He would die and rise again in three days! What if, in the face of bad circumstances, we were to refrain from jumping to the worst possible scenarios and making hasty – and usually false! – assessments of the situation? Then we, too, would save ourselves days and weeks, sometimes even months, of unnecessary stress. 

One of the vital take-aways, then, from the Good Friday story is just that: In the face of bad circumstances, don’t let yourselves jump to the worst possible scenarios! Instead, trust that somehow whatever you see, no matter how negative, will work out for the glory of God. 

Oh, and about me not attending the Good Friday service last year…Our oldest son was in China at the time. He was feeling isolated by language barriers and anti-Christian laws. He was missing family, and especially the celebration around Easter. Instead of going to the Good Friday service, we watched it with our son on a video platform, and then we had a good visit afterwards. In the end, he was encouraged, and it was all because I decided to not go to church for the Good Friday Service. 

But don’t worry if you had some judgmental thoughts…I do not judge you. Hey, I don’t know your whole story either! 

Inspired by Rob Chaffart
Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries


Jumping to Conclusion