Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Psalms: 95, 22,40:1-14(15-19), 54

 “Jesus answered, ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterwards.’ Peter said to him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you. Jesus answered, ‘Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly, I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.’John 13:36-38

Good Friday is the darkest day in the Christian Calendar; a singular moment when even Jesus’ closest followers abandon him to face death alone. Peter is labeled as the denier in the reading, but his actions are symbolic of all the disciples, none of whom stood up to defend the Messiah. 
We are all Peter. We all have fallen short of the sight of God.We all have denied God. We fundamentally misunderstand the Easter story when we make Jesus’ death the fault of someone else, someone other than“me.  When the crowds ask for Barabbas, everyone calls for Barabbas. When they chant “crucify him,” the whole of the assembly chants.  No one stood up to speak for Jesus.  No one stood up to speak for God.  We are all complicit here.

The rest of the readings today are messages of hope.  God will not abandon us forever, Jesus will return, and all will once again be right in the world.  But today?  Today we suffer.  We remind ourselves of the suffering of those dark days and of those days when we have felt far from God.  When “he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; against me alone he turns his hand, again and again, all day long.” 

Why? Because we only really understand God’s love, the healing power of God’s grace, in those dark moments. We can only really experience the transformative power of God in our lives when our lives are truly transformed. God is not a God of the status quo.

Here is the Good in Good Friday.  Even at our worst, God was at his best.  Even as we left Jesus to die on the cross, his death became our salvation.  As you meditate on Jesus’ suffering, prepare yourself for his, and your, salvation.

GSM (4/6/12) 

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