Friday, April 10, 2020

The Good Friday Journal for Writers

by Joshua J. Masters @JoshuaJMasters

Today is Good Friday, the day Christians reflect on the sacrifice of Christ. It’s a solemn day to remember the dark hours Jesus faced before His victorious resurrection on Sunday. 

So I’ll do something you’re probably not supposed to do on a writing blog; I’m asking you to put aside your current writing project. That’s right, put in in a drawer. Rather than focusing on our deadlines or drafting that next scene, let’s spend today penning a Good Friday Journal.

Instead of advancing our own work-in-progress, let’s use our writing gifts to meditate on the work Christ has done and is still doing today. After all, even if we’re not working on our own, we’re still His work-in-progress.

Use the writing prompts below to start your Good Friday Journal, listening for what the Spirit is trying to teach you today.

1. What does the remembrance of Good Friday mean to me?
Whether it’s in the form of a poem or prose, reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus and write out what it means to you. Here’s a short example I wrote for myself:

On this Good Friday, 
I remember that Christ was captured that I might be free, 
Bound so I might have my shackles thrown down, 
Beaten so I might be healed, 
Killed that I might live, 
And raised up from the grave, 
That I might have hope in my own resurrection on the day He calls my name.

The truth that God calls me by name has special significance to me. What about your relationship with Him stands out? Reflect on that as you write.

2. How is the sacrifice of Christ affecting my attitude?
The pandemic has created a difficult time for many people. Families are fearful, loved ones are sick, and relationships are strained. But the truth of Christ’s sacrifice for us should transform the way we respond to other people and our circumstances.

Read and reflect on Paul’s words to the Philippians.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God,
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
    he took the humble position of a slave.
    and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
     he humbled himself in obedience to God
    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
(Philippians 2:5-8 NLT)

I encourage you to read the entire chapter and then spend time in quiet self-examination. Ask God to reveal how Christ’s submission to death and His victory in resurrection should transform your own attitude. Write what you sense God is saying to you.

3. How is Christ’s sacrifice reflected in my writing?
I don’t mean, “Well, the cowboy shared the gospel with the widow when he went to town in chapter eight of my novel.” That’s good, of course. We want to find authentic ways to present biblical truths in our writing, but it should go even deeper than that.

How is the gospel in the DNA of my writing because it’s a part of who I am? 
Is my writing an offering to God, or am I looking for God to offer me a career? 
How does Christ’s sacrifice affect my dedication to the craft?
How does it change my goals as a writer?

4. What does God want me to see in the Resurrection Story I’ve never seen before?
We can become so familiar with certain historical accounts in Scripture that we breeze through them without exploring what God is trying to say to us.

Carve out some dedicated time, either alone or with your family, to read the events of Holy Week in the Bible (Luke 19:28-24:53).

Read these chapters in small sections, writing down what the Spirit points out to you in your Good Friday Journal. 

After each section, sit quietly, and ask God to reveal what He wants to show you. 

5. What am I thankful for in Christ?
Keeping a gratitude journal can transform your life. When we realize all that we have, it removes the unhealthy focus we have on what we think we want. We should regularly write out the things we’re thankful for: our homes, a steady income, our families, and our blessings.

But in the Good Friday Journal, we want to focus on what we’re thankful for about Christ Himself. Here are a few examples:

I’m grateful that Christ is my salvation (John 3:16).
I’m grateful Jesus chose me (John 15:16).
I’m grateful Jesus gives me a purpose (Ephesians 2:10).
I’m grateful that He is forgiving (1 John 1:9).
I’m grateful He willingly gave His life for me (John 10:18).

What attributes of Jesus are you most thankful for today? Spend time in the Bible, reflecting on the descriptions of Christ’s character. Write them out in your Good Friday journal and offer a prayer of gratitude.

Many of us are facing deadlines or feel pressure to produce greater content during the isolation of this pandemic, but the health of our work-in-progress will never exceed our own.

This is a time for spiritual reflection, finding hope is the sacrifice of a risen King. If we’re willing to put aside our own accomplishments to reflect of the accomplishments of Christ, it will transform our writing to be a greater reflection of the one who gave us that gift.


Joshua J. Masters is a pastor, author, and speaker. He’s been featured on CBN Television, HIS Radio, and the Light Radio Network. Josh is the author of American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot and is a contributing author for Feed Your Soul,  Refresh Bible Study Magazine, and One Christian Voice. Josh has also worked as an actor and crew member in the film industry (SAG/AFTRA) and continues to have a passion for film. He lives with his wife, Gina, and Franklin the Pup outside Greenville, South Carolina where he serves as a speaking and care pastor.

Josh would love to connect with you on his website, or engage with you on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Goodreads.


  1. What excellent suggestions for Good Friday - especially when we cannot go out to attend our church services. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I truly appreciate what you have written, and I will try your suggestions today.

    1. I'm so grateful for your encouraging words, Diane. I pray that the exercise is an encouragement to you as you work through the questions.

  2. Amen my friend and brother. So very well said. This day is not about what we do, but what He's done. What a wonderful reminder and counsel for how we can honor His sacrifice by using the gifts He gave us to honor and glorify Him. Thank you; and God's blessings sir.

  3. You said it so well, "his day is not about what we do, but what He's done." Praise God for that!

  4. Thank you for the challenge to “be still and know” our Savior. This sentence reminded me of the critical need to know Him better: “If we’re willing to put aside our own accomplishments to reflect of the accomplishments of Christ, it will transform our writing to be a greater reflection of the one who gave us that gift. If we’re willing to put aside our own accomplishments to reflect of the accomplishments of Christ, it will transform our writing to be a greater reflection of the one who gave us that gift.

  5. That is a great idea, Joshua. Even though I am reading this a day late, it is still an inspirational thing to do for this weekend as we ponder the great sacrifice made for us.