Lent: Day 39

Good Friday. The phrase drips with irony.

reflections on Christ - crucifixion

We recall betrayal in the early hours of the morning—good. We retell the story of judicial injustice—good. We hear the partisan crowd chanting for blood; “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”—good. We watch Jesus stripped, flogged, humiliated, spat upon, and mocked—good. We hear the hammering of large nails driven through His wrists and feet—good. We see the slow and ghastly asphyxiation of the Son of God as His body slumps forward on the cross—good. We sense His labored breathing as death approaches—good. We feel the sudden chill and darkness that covers the land as He dies—good. We watch as a Roman centurion thrusts a spear into His side to confirm His death—good. And we stand by as women with tear-stained faces gently take His tortured and lacerated body to place in a tomb—good.

“Good” hardly seems the right word to use. Ugly. Horrific. Heart-breaking. Violent. Bloody. Those words work. But “good”?

If we assess the suffering with merely our physical senses, it leaves us disgusted not glad. But beneath the surface, underneath the brutality, and despite the agony, God was turning the chaos of the Cross into the hinge of history. The penalty for sin was paid and the power of sin was about to be broken. Redemption drew nigh.

I wonder how many of our own Fridays might become “good” if we had the eyes to see the hand of God behind the scenes.

Father, how often I have complained about hardship and been blind to Your Presence. Open my eyes today—this Good Friday, and each day—to see beyond my circumstances and to see You. Amen.

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