Good Friday, April 19th
Love: to hold dear; cherish
Luke 23:44-46 (NRSV)
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last.
John 15:13 (NRSV)
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
There have been theological debates and books written that question the necessity for Jesus’ crucifixion. Did God really need Jesus to die in order to love and forgive us? Was Jesus the ultimate sacrifice to appease God in some way? I have questions too, but today certainly isn’t the day for debating theology. Today is the day to grieve and to be grateful.
For me, the beautiful significance of Good Friday- this terrible and tragic day when Jesus suffered and died- is that Jesus was willing to remain, no matter what. Jesus never stopped speaking the truth, never stopped insisting that we love one another, never denied that he was the Son of God, never ceased to question the culture and overturn the law, and never stopped trying to show us how to live- even as the cross loomed before him. He was willing to die in order to prove that what he said about God was true all along. He was willing to die to show us how much he trusted God, how much he loved God, and how much he loved us.
Because of Good Friday, I know without a doubt that Jesus loves God and Jesus loves all of us. All the way through his humiliating trial, his terrible torture, and especially his horrendous time on the cross until his death, Jesus never backed down from his reason for being: I am the One sent from God to show all of you that you are loved.
This is all I need to know.
Thank you, Jesus.
All definitions are excerpted from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary at https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/
Cross photo credit: Aaron Burden on Unsplash