Today is Good Friday. It marks the start of the most holy week in the Christian faith. What’s so “good” about Good Friday? On the surface, nothing really. In fact, it was a day and night of utter defeat that led to the cruxifixction of Jesus. Let’s go back to that day….
The followers of Jesus must have known something was up. The disciples were being prepared—but for what? Jesus represented new ways of thinking replacing old religious ideals. Just the week before he rode into Jerusalem triumphantly. He was their saviour after all, just not in the way they imagined….
As night time fell a final meal is prepared. Jesus starts the evening by making things uncomfortable. He takes off his tunic and begins to wash the feet of his disciples. A role for the slaves, Jesus brought himself low to serve. How did the disciples respond? They start arguing over who’s the greatest among the crew. They’re oblivious to coming calamity.
After the meal some went for an evening walk in a garden. One took off in another direction, he had a job to do, he was selling out Jesus to the authorities. The religious elite were looking for ways to kill Jesus because he was upsetting the power structures. They found him in the garden. There was no place to run. But that didn’t matter, a new plan is unfolding.
Here’s where things get worse. Clandestine midnight trials take shape as Jesus is pulled before false accusers. Things aren’t going well, but what’s worse, his followers have all but disappeared. Then comes the verdict. Guilty. And then the punishment. Crucify!
Daybreak creeps over the hills as Friday heads towards a somber end. Through the twists and turns of the street from the trial to the hill of cruxifixction, Jesus drags his cross to his eventual defeat. The violence along the way is disturbing. But it didn’t matter, a new plan is unfolding.
The plan? It’s actually a story. A story that explains, “why” Easter, but also “why” it means something to me and you.
You see, God has a single dream, unchanged since the beginning of time, to put the world to rights by turning all of the wrongs right. We’re invited to be a part of this dream, one capture as we discover our purpose—living out the fullness of our own humanity. But there’s something in the way. We can’t live out our full until there’s a way to BEAT all stuff that gets in the way.
Picture all the evil in the world. Picture your own disconnect. All of the things that hold you down or hold you back. The pain, the hurt, the addiction, the anxiety, the disconnect. All of these pieces, the multitude of our disconnect, and the combination of all evil, was brought to its height so Jesus could BEAT IT. That’s the cross.
“The Cross reveals an utterly vulnerable God, one whose heart is open and exposed to the whole world of pain and injustice.”
– Diana Butler Bass
What’s so good about Friday? It wasn’t. It was full of solemn despair. For a moment evil thought it had won.
GOOD doesn’t come until Sunday.
For more about this story read John 13-19.