Today is Good Friday.
If you didn’t know the reason we say Good Friday today, is because a Palestinian Jew who was unlawfully convicted by a Roman court was tried and murdered on this day thousands of years ago. The reason this day matters all these years later, was because it marks the beginning of the greatest victory in human/faith history. Jesus of Nazareth (a town no one thought anything good could come out of) see John 1:46, rose up and declared in the temples as a young man, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18–19).
Today is the day after the famous foot washing service of Jesus with his disciples. We call this Maundy Thursday. This sacrament or worship practice was symbolic and remains symbolic of the humility of the Christ. Jesus, although Christologically speaking was and is the Messiah of the Christian tradition. We believe that Jesus was the Messiah prophesied beforehand by Moses and Isaiah. We also know that Christology is a profound thought. I wanted to give the background though to these sacred moments of the Christian tradition. We are not just being ritualistic. We are practicing traditions that have lasted for the entirety of Christianity. So Thursday the washing of the disciples feet and in many churches the washing of the congregations feet, symbolizes Jesus humility. Humility that lowers the leader, the Messiah to a servant and shows us the most radical rejection of Empire ever.
See, Jesus death on Good Friday was to overthrow every system of oppression. The greatest of these besides Rome at the time and others now. The greatest was SIN. Sin separates us from God and each other. We are called to love in ways that seem humanly impossible but Jesus on Good Friday did it. In that moment he was human, fully human. Jesus was God in the flesh and if that is true and I believe it is. I can think of no other greater way to love me. God is love. God is not these issues that divide us. God is not a (you get in but you don’t) God. God is love.
God is accepting and believing. God sees the best in you. God wants the best for you. God is justice, God is not injustice. We are injustice, we create pain, misery, torture, guilt, fear, shame, we did this. We can be freed though we can come and be made whole. We can rise from the ashes of our past into a new being. We can die as Jean Gray and return as The Phoenix all powerful. To quote Kirk Franklin, “We are more than conquerors!!!”
So Good Friday is good indeed. Yes, injustice exist and we will continue to fight, we will continue to speak out and vote and protest. But, in the end we need hope that can’t be touched by human hands and human policies, but but hope that can be transformed by a loving God. A hope that comes from God and is in us. We are the kingdom.
We can change the world and the reason is Jesus. So as we reflect today on the crucifixion and the loss of the greatest man of all time, my hero, my friend and brother, my God to whom I praise. The one to whom I cast all my cares. Let us not forget that today, especially today he was human, he felt every nail, every pain, but his love for you and his love for people (ALL) people was greater than Rome, and it’s greater than SIN 3,000 years later. Friday we mourn, Saturday we are in silence, but Sunday is coming…