Old Testament: Wisdom 1:16-2:1, 12-22, Genesis 22:1-14
Morning Psalms: Psalms 95, 22
New Testament: 1 Peter 1:10-20
Gospel: John 13:36-38, 19:38-42
Evening Psalms: Psalms 40:1-19, 54
Good Friday is a day that should test us -- Physically, Spiritually, and Emotionally. Physically, if we choose to fast, we will be a step slower, and lagging mentally. Spiritually, we feel a distinct separateness from friends and co-workers who don’t acknowledge today as the death of our Lord and Savior. They won’t be as reflective, as pensive, as sad as you might be today. Emotionally, we will be conflicted, torn between the sadness of Jesus’ death and the happiness of the resurrection.
You see, today is a conflicting day for Christians. We acknowledge Jesus’ death, but we have trouble recognizing our own role in that death. We know on some level Jesus HAD to die for us to be saved so what makes it so bad? We’d rather just hurry up and skip to Easter, plus I hear there will be bunnies!
T.S. Eliot reflected on Good Friday in his poem “Little Gidding”, comparing earth to a hospital where we only get better by getting sicker, “and that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.” He said that all of humanity is sick, and the only healing available to humanity was the death of God and our own corresponding death. If this sounds morbid, it should. If we don’t in some way feel responsible for Jesus’ death, we are missing the point.
On this day when we are fasting, suffering, and contemplating what Jesus’ death really means, I will leave you with T.S. Eliot’s final words on the subject:
The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood-
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.
How, exactly do we go about making this Friday “Good”?