Black Friday — The biggest retail shopping day of the year. Some retail analysts claim this weekend will represent between 15 and 30% of the year’s total retail revenues. The National Retail Federation claims that 226 million shoppers will spend an estimated $52.5 billion dollars that weekend, an average of $298.62 per shopper.
The day’s name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Use of the term started before 1961 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. Later an alternative explanation began to be offered: that “Black Friday” indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or are “in the black”, according to Wikipedia.
Our culture calls it Black Friday. It’s Black, they say, for three reasons: 1) our culture is materialistic; 2) our culture is greedy; and 3) God is nowhere to be found.
But Black Friday is not the blackest Friday. We read about the real Black Friday in Matthew:
They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They spit on him. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: “this is Jesus, the king of the Jews.” From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. From Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 27.
For the women and His followers watching Jesus dying on the cross, it was not a good day. It was a day of pain, suffering, agony, doubt, death and loss.
I can’t call that Good Friday. To me, it was the blackest Friday in the history of the world. Jesus took our sins away that day and covered all of them in His precious blood. His death meant God forgave all our sins, past, present and future. But that’s nothing to shout about if you consider the price Jesus paid for our forgiveness.
Shame on us for calling it Good Friday. Let our depraved, materialistic, greedy, self-centered, godless do-what-feels-good culture call it Good Friday. To me it’s the real Black Friday. Let’s spend part of the day remembering how much our forgiveness cost God.