Semantics is the study of meaning. Semantics often throws me for a loop. It’s possible to draw a meaning from something that’s the complete opposite of the intention. Take today, for instance. Good Friday? Wait, Jesus died on Good Friday, right? To someone who doesn’t understand what His death means for us, calling it “good” might seem odd. I’ve gotta think the disciples would probably have called it a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Friday. They were living in the middle of the story. You’d have to know the end of the story–that Jesus defeated death on Easter Sunday–to agree that Friday was indeed good.
We’re living life in the middle of God’s story, so it can make some of the end-truths hard to comprehend. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read, “Don’t believe everything you think.” That’s a good one for me to remember. Conversely, you might also say “Don’t over-think everything you believe.” His ways are not my ways (Isaiah 55:8), so even if I don’t completely understand everything the bible says, in faith I can still believe it and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth. Jesus told his disciples: “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:12-13)
It’s actually exciting (and kind) that God doesn’t dump all spiritual understanding on us at once. Getting to know Him is a quest, a journey, an adventure. Every piece of the puzzle brings us a little closer to Him. There is treasure and truth to be discovered as the story unfolds… but we won’t find it if we don’t look. We won’t come any closer to knowing unless we ask the questions. Yes, Good Friday is good… but it’s not as good as it gets.