Pull up a seat and have a steaming cup with me as we discuss issues central to the west-indian community, the african-american community and the LGBT community.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Mess of Good Friday

When you read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ final Friday, “good” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. In Matthew’s account, for example, we are confronted with an ugly mess: betrayal, suicidal hanging, false accusations, freeing a murderer, blind anomisity, crowd-pleasing leader, mocking, beating, scourging, shame, nakedness, blasphemy, brutal crucifixion, God-forsakenness, death. Ugliness, not beauty, adorns this account.
So why do we call it Good Friday? In short, because victorious resurrection requires death, new life blooms from decay, and beauty is known only in relation to ugliness. Good Friday is also good because we realize there is a death of death in the death of Christ (in the words of John Owen).
Despite the goodness of Good Friday, this holy day brings a soberness to our spirituality. We realize that Jesus’ way is our way: a way of suffering, betrayal, and cross-bearing. In our earthly pilgrimage, we will never rise above the mess and ugliness of this Jesus way. Resurrection is a reality worked out in the context of Good Friday. Good Friday gives us reason to be sober; Easter gives us reason to celebrate. Salvation is now but not yet. Rejoice! Be sober-minded. It’s the Jesus way.

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