Friday, April 6, 2012

Journey to the Cross - Good Friday

LENT DAY 39 - Friday, April 6
Mark 15:33-39   "Good" Friday
"At three o'clock, Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' which means, 'My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?' ... But Jesus, with a loud cry, took his last breath. ... The Roman captain... said, 'this has to be the Son of God'."  (Message vs. 34, 37, 39) 
     Two different reflections come to mind today.  A human Jesus and what is "good" about "Good Friday?"
     Jesus cries out to God, "Why have you left me?"  Just as he voiced, "I thirst", Jesus reacts with the most human of responses to the crucifixion.  If the Son of God, God himself, can feel abandoned, we need not feel like we are spiritually lacking if we sometimes doubt or ask God the same question.  It is a human response!  David certainly pulled no punches with God in many of his psalms.  But God was and is present.  Crucifixion was usually a slow, painful, drawn-out death.  Pilate was surprised that Jesus died so quickly (v. 44).  Perhaps God was at work to make this unbearable situation a bit more tolerable.  Perhaps he is at work in hidden areas of our life today when we least expect it, or assume we have been abandoned.  
     And then, why is this day called "Good" Friday?  What's so good about a day of suffering and pain?  A day when we killed the Son of God?  When in doubt, Google it!  Here's what I learned:
1.  The term Good Friday is only used among English speaking Western Christians. 
2.  The day is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Mourning Friday among various other nations and faiths. 
3.  Good is an archaic form of the word for holy, sacred, or pious. 
4.  The greatest GOOD resulted from this day of suffering. 
5.  There is some speculation that, like the term 'goodbye' evolving from 'God be with you', that the day was originally known as "God's Friday".  
     This all makes sense.  But I think I like the term Holy Friday.  It is Holy Week.  We have crucified Christ.  But it is not the end.  We have not been abandoned.  Easter is coming.  

Have to edit this and add this cartoon I just found posted on Facebook.  It was too appropriate.  

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