Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Jesus suffers and dies on the cross today, Good Friday. It represents the lowest point in the story of this man who did nothing but good. It’s a tragic ending to a life spent loving people. The world had pronounced its judgment on Jesus: he was a failure, and his mission was now doomed to die with him on his cross. The events leading to his crucifixion are heartrending, the circumstances surrounding his death, even more so. Abandoned by the people he had come to redeem, abandoned by closest friends, he now seemed abandoned by his Father as well.

Jesus the faithful Son, is left by his Father to die in ignominy. What more could the world want in showing itself right in judging Jesus a failure. Here was the final proof, even God did not want to vindicate him. Even his Father had forsaken him. Jesus was utterly alone.

The loneliness of Good Friday, when the beloved Son of God died hanging on the cross is the loneliness all of us experience when suffering and pain assail us, and when all the world seems to have abandoned us, when even our strength seems not to be there for us. It is the experience of every human heart that has come face to face with pain.

God does not pretend to take the pain away from us. As on Good Friday, he didn’t’ take his Son down from the cross, so does he not take our crosses away from us at times. But as on Good Friday when Jesus hung on the cross, God is unmistakably there, bearing our pain with us, joining us in our suffering, weeping with us, and with us, seeking to find a way to change our suffering into joy. Good Friday is not the end of our story, just was it wasn’t the end of Jesus’.

"The Kingdom of Heaven is a condition of the heart." (Friedrich Nietzsche)