Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Good Friday

In Western Christian tradition the trappings of Easter are typically manifested by pastel colors, bunnies, baby chickens, flowers – pleasant images of new life and spring. In the Eastern tradition there are colored eggs as well, but they are bright red like blood, while the mood remains somber with restraint and restriction.

There is a long-standing controversy between the East and West which delights many. But whatever the merits of this controversy may be in the arena of world history, it is ultimately beside the point.

One person’s beliefs may be incrementally closer to truth than another's, but “belief” by definition is only a vague approximation, a passing traveler’s tale, a second-hand cast off.

Good Friday commemorates the death of Jesus. Some celebrate this as a historical event only. Others say it happens invisibly in the spiritual realm every year.

Either way, as long as the Crucifixion is about someone else's experience it remains at best an emotional spectacle not much different than a good movie.

The Crucifixion is definitely the most unpleasant Christian feast to modern sensibilities. There is a rush to brush past this part and get to the Resurrection, where everything is “all right” again. Jesus is alive after all, the Lenten fast is over and we can have ice cream once more.

But ritual dying is vital, and calls to mind the Buddhist images of wrathful deities abiding in darkness that tear people to bits. What if life never changed – would you really be happy remaining as you are right now . . . always?

There are fanciful stories of people willing to commit any crime to acquire some magical substance that enables them to live forever. Such characters are filled up with their own weird, neurotic, evil selves. And they would want THAT to live forever? Or to put it more accurately, they would want to live forever WITH that?

Thank God for the Crucifixion! It illustrates the blessed possibility open to those who fervently desire truth – to be freed of themselves by the only thing powerful enough to rend the false from the true, namely death.

That Cross upon which the body of Jesus surrenders is a sign of God’s grace, of the limitless compassion of the universe.

There is a Cross waiting for each of us as well.

Its shadow is already upon the ground, and lengthening.

So on this Good Friday . . . rejoice that death is nigh.


  1. God so loves the world that he gave it us and us the whole world. We were not put on Earth to be remembered for what we have said or done, but to die many deaths so that we may more fully percieve and remember that we exist here and now in eterniy. Amen :)

  2. After sharing that, I was lead to this;


    “He who talks about truth injures it thereby;
    He who tries to prove it thereby maims and distorts it;
    He who gives it a label and a school of thought kills it;
    And He who declares himself a believer buries it.”

    - Lin Yutang

    Fertile little Easter egg huh?
    May we feel blessed and in-joy this Easter...whatever we are feeling.
    Thank you CD :)