Black Friday — It’s the biggest shopping day of the year. Thanksgiving weekend is the biggest shopping weekend of the year. Some retail analysts claim this weekend will represent between 15 and 30% of the year’s total revenues. The National Retail Federation claims that 226 million shoppers will spend an estimated $52.5 billion dollars this 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.
But Black Friday is not the blackest Friday. We read about the blackest Friday in Matthew:
They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 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. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 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. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[c] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. From Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 27.
That is not good. For the women and His followers watching Jesus dying on the cross, it was not a good day. It was a horrible day of pain, suffering, agony, 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.
God can not forgive sin (Let that thought soak in for a moment).
Oswald Chambers says, “The only ground on which God can forgive sin and reinstate us in His favor is through the Cross of Christ, and in no other way. Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony of Calvary. It is possible to take the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and our sanctification with the simplicity of faith, and to forget at what enormous cost to God it was all made ours.”¹
Shame on us for calling it Good Friday. Let our depraved, materialistic, greedy, self-centered, godless culture call it a good Friday. To me it’s the true Black Friday, and we need to spend it remembering how much God’s forgiveness cost Him.
¹ My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers, ©1935, Dodd, Mead & Company, Inc., Westwood, N.J. pg. 241.