Reflection 6

READ  Psalm 22:1-18  &  Luke 22:66 - 23:56


On Good Friday, the Jewish leaders subjected Jesus to a trial of some sort, he was then pushed from pillar to post between Pilate and Herod, neither of whom beieved Jesus had done anything deserving of death. Pilate wanted to punish him and then release him, he could find nothing to convict Jesus of.  But he gave in to the pressure of the leaders and the crowd which resulted in a death sentence for the one who would be called King of the Jews. He was quickly crucified and buried before the start of the Sabbath that evening.

So, its a contradiction to call this day "good", Good Friday. It's the day Jesus died and death isn't sually considered to be a good thing. Death is sad, death is difficult, we never hear of someone jumping for joy after a loved one died. When someone dies, however hard their life had been before death, our first thoughts aren't "good! I'm so glad". We feel sad that the person's life has ended. We feel sad for the family of the deceased, they are often numb, shocked, sad and just go through the motions to get a farewell service put together. However inevitable, death is not a good thing. 

Sometimes, when we think about Easter, we get so excited about the resurrection, we tend to gloss over Jesus death. We love to sing songs celebrating his resurrection, joyfully proclaiming that death could not hold him, because that's what happened. The grave was empty and Jesus was gone. That's the end of the story. But resurrection was only possible because death happened first. 

As Christians, we know that Jesus was both fully God and fully human, we don't always understand it, but we know it. The thing we find difficult about Jesus' story, is that he actually dies. We don't expect it to happen, we're shocked that Almighty God, immortal, unchanging, creator, all knowing, all powerful could actually die. Yet he did.  Over the course of a few hours one Friday, God laid all of his "Godness" aside, and breathed his last. For you, for me, for all humankind for all time.

His death had to happen to cancel out all that is bad, all that is evil, all that is wrong in this world. That's exactly what he did. In that moment when he breathed his last, he cancelled out all that was wrong in the world and finally, justice was served. That is what makes Good Friday, good. On that day God offered himself as the perfect sacrifice, the sacrifice that would end all other sacrifices, the only sacrifice that was good enough. It's by that sacrifice that we're healed, purified and able to draw near to God. 

That's what is good about Good Friday.