Today, we observe Good Friday
This day, set aside, to observe the anniversary of the murder of Jesus.
Some believe he was the son of God, others, a prophet. And some believe he was just a historical figure.
But think about Jesus in the context of today. A man who challenged the status quo. A man who stood up for the marginalized. The outcast. Who stood up against the religious and said, ‘All ye who are without sin, cast the first stone.’ Who spoke the truth, and shamed the devil.
Pilot- found no fault in him.
Yet when Pilate gave Jesus over to the mob- to the religious to those whom Jesus had challenged the most because he symbolized change- they called for his crucifixion.
And as he was brutalized, as he was whipped, as he was made to carry his own cross, as they drove spikes into his forearms and into his legs, as they put a crown of thorns on his head, and a spear through his side, they mocked him.
Christ embodied, compassion, empathy, benevolence, forbearance, mercy….he embodied all that was good about man.
So, not only did they kill the son of God, they symbolically killed any worth that they may have had.
Over the next three days, churches will be filled with those who go to observe this moment in time. And I know that when they leave their houses of worship, they should be jarred into the reality of where this country at the moment. This great society that proclaims it’s belief in an invisible God, whose name tumbles from their mouths without a second thought. These same people, who allow the poor to languish, the naked to freeze, the sick to die, and the hungry to go unfed. Who, through their own self righteousness, would allow the outcast to remain an outcast. And who would allow to rise to power someone like Ted Cruz or Donald Trump- the very antithesis of who Christ was and what he stood for.
See, it wasn’t the sinners that killed Christ. It was the saints. It was the righteous, the saved of the saved.
It’s a tragic irony.
The Bible says that Heaven observed the death of their beloved. That angels were camped out around the cross. And personally, I believe if God gave the order for them to go and get his son, saying, “No. He doesn’t deserve this,” they would have gleefully, and justifiably, destroyed the world in the process.
My mother used to sing a song in church, and the second verse said this:
T’was not for crimes that he had done
that placed him on that tree
but the love for a dying sin cursed world
and they power to set it free
and as they blood came streaming down that cross
the debt for sin was paid
Oh praise his Precious Holy name
for What Jesus did that day
“Ten thousand angels all hovered ’round.
they could have come and taken him down
removed those nails, with loving care.
But it wasn’t the nails, that held him there. “
Thank God, it wasn’t the nails
nor the irony of who put them there
that held them there.