Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday

It's Friday now, actually it's not just Friday, it's Good Friday. It's not normal Friday, average Friday or even better than average Friday. It's Good Friday. I've never even really understood the concept. Although, growing up on the Catholic East Coast it was a holiday which meant no school. That was always "Good" enough for me. Otherwise, I never really understood the concept. How could something so completely bad be considered in any way good. As far as I know, Good Friday is only referring to the day that Jesus died on the cross. What could be considered good about that. It wasn't a good arrest. It wasn't a good trial. I've seen "The Passion". It certainly wasn't a good treatment of a prisoner. And it certainly wasn't a good way to die. That is why the Romans liked persecution. It sent a message to everyone in the empire. It wasn't even a good message. I've just never been sure how "good" and this day ever became linked together. The only thing good about that day was Jesus, and no one had a good idea about who he really was. Judas didn't. The other 11 didn't. Herdod didn't. Pilate almost did.
His wife was closer still. The crowd certainly didn't. That's how he got there, really. It was the crowd that had the power that day. The problem was that in their eyes, he wasn't good enough.
How ironic that the best who ever walked the earth was not good enough. He was not good enough for them socially. He was not good enough for them politically. He was not good enough to provide what they thought they needed. Because of that he died a horrible death. It was a death meant to send a message that was anything but good. Now we have a day on the calendar every year that is designated "Good Friday". It's today. I sit here at my window as people wander by on the sidewalk, walking their dogs, walking their kids, being walked by their dogs and kids. I wonder if they know. I wonder what they know. As they walk by my church do they wonder why today is called Good Friday. Do they wonder what kind of delusional people would call the day that observes the horrible execution of the central figure of their faith "Good Friday"? Do they realize that the day was ultimately good for me, them, for all of us, because at the end of the day, at the end of His life, Jesus declared "It is finished". What was finished? All of the things that the crowd sought. All of the things that the crowd still seeks today. Those who walk their dogs, who walk their kids. All of the things that they concerned themselves with then and we still concern ourselves with today. Political, social, and economic things that we use to try and justify our lives, to try to improve our existence, to make our lives count. All of the things that the crowd wanted from a savior and people today still look for. They were and are all finished. All of the human investment and obsession with doing it on our own and failing miserably are all finished. God has taken it. The sacrifice was made and a new life is offered.
It is finished. That was truly a good Friday.

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