Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Friday Meditation

It is a tremendous loss to have someone you love die. It is an even greater loss to watch your Messiah die. To watch as your hopes for a better future are shut down by the furious crowd crying out to crucify him. To listen to the words of judgment being spoken that you know are so unjust. To smell the stench of death as you inch closer and closer to Golgotha.

Yes, it is one of the most painful things we will face to lose someone we love. But to watch as your hope is being shut down as the one you believe came to save you from unjust persecution, hopelessness, trials, pain, and fear is something unmatched. For as you watch the one you call Messiah die painfully and unjustly is to watch any hope that love truly does trump evil fall away.

This is the pain felt by the disciples on that Friday. While words were spoken by Jesus, preparing them for this day, they were silenced by disbelief it could really happen. When words of hope were spoken that this was not the end, they were deadened by the crowds and hatred surrounding them. The day we call Good Friday was anything but good for the men and women who loved and followed Jesus. To them the world they knew with Jesus, and the world they knew prior to his coming, was now about to be lost. They believed they were entering a world that would never see love and hope again; a world worse off than ever before. They believed that what was happening to Jesus would also be the path they would soon take.

To try and imagine what it was like on that day is a task that is somewhat impossible for us to do. Like the reality of the situation was for the disciples on that day, we are too far removed from the truth of the real pain that was felt. We are unable to completely and without bias imagine a world without the hope and grace we experience today. We know the end of the story; to read and hear the words of the Gospel narratives on Good Friday without that knowledge is impossible.

Yet we try. We must try. For we as Christians need to attempt to experience the pain of that day. In attempting this great feat we are able to understand more fully the true sacrifice that the cross is. This is a way in which we attempt to not take what happened on this day, nearly two thousand years ago, for granted.

It is imperative we remember the pain. The pain Jesus felt as he carried that cross to the hill; his body ripped from his wounds, the sweat that covered him, the energy spent. We must remember the agony of the nails, ripping through his flesh and bone. We must remember the weight of his body pulling at his lungs and trachea. We must remember the hurls of insults, the lack of respect, the pain of knowing these are the people for whom you are dying. We must remember.

This is for us to remember, to force ourselves to open our eyes to, for it is us this pain is felt. It is for us that God came down to us in the form of a human. We are the ones Jesus the Christ is experiencing the pain for. We are the reason he was wounded. We are the reason he suffered. We are the reason he died.

Let us remember, take ourselves back to a time and a place of pain. A time that makes the losses we have experienced in our own lives, the ones that cause us the most pain imagineable, seem small in comparison to the death of our Messiah, our Christ. For without his pain, his suffering, his death…we would be without hope.
This is the truth of Good Friday. It is the truth we must face in order to continue on to tomorrow and Sunday. We must know and internalize the death of Jesus to see the truth of the cross. We must know it to understand what is to come. So take yourself back. Breathe in the message. Mourn like the disciples mourned. And remember this is not the end. Amen.

1 comment:

Bruce & Sylvia said...

That was beautiful. It reminded me of a meeting we went to this morning. A sister commented on how Jesus went into this after being in Gethsemane and suffering there. She reminded us of how he never thought ill of anyone. We really should always remember all he has done for us. Thanks for a beautiful message.