Tag Archive | Good Friday

Good Friday: He is Truly God.

This is a day I anticipate with dread every year. Good Friday is the most solemn day of the Christian year. It’s when Jesus is arrested, is beaten, carries his cross, is crucified, and dies. It is at the crux of the faith, and I dislike this day above all others. 

I’ve written here before that I’ve never liked Good Friday. I understand how necessary it is, but I still don’t like it for one reason: it requires the honest Christian to look into his/her heart and admit the sin bearing down upon their heart in a rather primal manner. The reminder that Jesus Christ was truly man and suffered greatly for all of our sins is wildly sobering. More details of the events that day make it even more gut wrenching.

First, ever wondered what Judah’s actually got for betraying Jesus? Well, 30 pieces of silver was about 5 week’s paying wages. So he betrayed Jesus for 5 weeks worth of money. In terms of actual spending power? Each piece was worth about $20. That means he betrayed Jesus for a total of $600. Yes, it costs less for an apartment in Malden than it does to betray the Son of God. I read that during a Bible Study I’m a part of and my jaw dropped. 

Then the amount of pain he went through is just stupifying. Every year, I watch The Passion of the Christ on Good Friday. The amount of suffering Jesus went through and the way the film depicted it was raw, brutal, and shocking. And he did all that for you, me, the temple guards who beat him up, the man who betrayed him, the holy and sinners alike. All that for us. Truly God does love us. 

There is also one scene in the movie that leaves me in tears every time. After Jesus takes up his cross and walks to Golgotha, he falls under the weight of his cross. In one such moment, he meets his mother. They cut in a sequence of Jesus falling as a child and show Mary’s motherly love when He was a child and an adult. This scene destroys me every time. God was human flesh. God walked the earth and had a mother who suffered as she watched her son be beaten to a bloody pulp of a man. And she loved him. Jesus was true man and true God. 

It’s always a trying day because of how incredible this faith and journey is. Take time today to reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice for us. 

Good Friday: True Love

I’ve written here before about how much I do not like Good Friday. It’s a sad day that reminds me and all other Christians that we, indeed, are sinners who need salvation from God. And to receive that salvation, God himself had to come down from Heaven, take the form of a man, and suffer a brutal death while taking all the sins of all the people in all the world upon his shoulders. I don’t like the simple fact that it’s my sin that helped put him up there. I don’t like that God himself was killed by human hands. I don’t like the fact that so many terrible things happened to Jesus Christ on this day. And yet I cannot help but appreciate some incredible beauty in this day. 

I’m reminded of this after watching a review of the movie The Passion of the Christ that was done by the famous YouTuber, The Nostalgia Critic. I’m a fan of his work and quite enjoy his reviews. They cover good movies, awful movies, M. Night Shyamalan movies (a special kind of bad and/or crazy), and everything in between. He joined another YouTuber, the Cinema Snob, to do a review of The Passion fairly recently. I watched it, having a fairly decent idea of what to expect. I found exactly what I thought I’d see: A review criticizing the film as little more than being an excuse to watch a guy get beat up and then die. There are several jokes throughout that mock the idea of religious folk getting a meaningful experience out of it, and several jabs at Mel Gibson throughout. It’s nothing far from expectations, but it absolutely misses the point. 

I will grant them a few points. The film is incredibly violent. Jesus is absolutely brutalized and beaten to death. And it is jarring and incredibly hard to watch. Many devout Christians understandably have a difficult time with all this, and understandably so. However, when he describes the movie as torture porn, I have a problem with that. While The Passion is a violent movie and is hard to watch, it is not torture porn. That is meant to be a demonstration of the most that a human being can take to get some sick enjoyment from it. Watching The Passion is not meant to make people appreciate how much Jesus was beaten and hurt on that day. It’s meant to show how much He suffered for us, how much God endured for His people. 

That’s the other point I have issue with in the review. There are several points where the critics express disappointment in the focus on the last twelve hours of Jesus’ life instead of on His message of radical love. That misses the point. Sure, Jesus’ life and preachings were focused on love, mercy, compassion, and care for one another. It would have been nice to see more of him talking with his apostles to break up the pacing a little more. But on a religious point, if you’re going to talk about Christian love, you actually must center on Christ’s sacrifice for us. John 15:13 reads “”Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” And Jesus had the greatest love of all. Jesus willingly sacrificed Himself to take up our sins and save us all. If there is any greater love than that, I’d love to see it. But I don’t think that exists, so Jesus’ passion is the greatest example of true love possible. 

It’s strange reflecting on this week’s after Holy Week ended, but it’s worth reflecting on how much He loves us and how we ought follow His example to the best of our ability. It’s also worth noting how easy it is to overlook and miss that when we don’t want to look at how violent the faith and the story of the faith can be. I hope to look at it more in depth in my own life in the future. 

Good Friday: My Least Favorite Christian Day

I don’t like Good Friday. I don’t like what happened on this day almost 2,000 years ago. I’m reminded of why I don’t like it watching the movie: The Passion. It hilights the worst of humanity. 

If you’re not a Christian, or if you don’t know the story, Jesus Christ preached a radical message of Love, Compassion, and following God above all else. This message was threatening to many political and religious powers of the day, so many looked for a way to remove Him from power. Judas, one of his closest friends betrayed Him to the Sanhedrien, and they staged a sham of a trial to condemn Him. They found Him guilty of blasphemy and took him to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Govenor of the region of Judea. Only the Romans could execute the Jewish laws in the way they wanted: to execute Jesus. They got what they wanted. Jesus endured unbelievable pain, humiliation, and abandonment. The Romans beat him with whips and chains, ripped him to a bloody mess of a human being. The Jewish authorities denied who He was and what His message was in order to hold on to what earthly power they had. And ultimately, all of Jesus’ closest friends, his apostles, all abandoned him except John, and he was flat out betrayed by Judas and denied by Peter, the closest of the Apostles to Jesus. 

We see many of the worst sins all in this story. Betrayal of friends and loved ones, denial of God’s true power, the love of earthly things over Godly things, and the flat out abandonment of that which we should hold most dear. The worst sins that humanity can reach are on full display on Good Friday. The worst sins that I can reach and I have done at different points in my life, are on full display. 

I guess that’s why I don’t like Good Friday. It is a direct condemnation of the worst of my sins. I have to own up to all of them in a very intense way on this day. Watching The Passion reminds me of the worst things that I’ve done. It reminds me that it is all of my sins, all the ways that I’ve hurt myself and others, that called for Jesus coming down to Earth to die for me. And I am honestly ashamed that I needed it, and that humanity needed it, and continues to need it. We hung God out to dry on a giant hunk of wood, betrayed Him in doing so, and made Him suffer a fate that no man, regardless of how evil he is, deserves. 

For those reasons, I do not enjoy Good Friday. But I recognize how necessary it all is. Because after all we’ve done to God, ourselves, and other people, we cannot be saved any other way than by God’s love. I cannot be saved any other way than through God. I don’t like admitting that, but in this respect, I don’t really have a choice. 

The Passion does show some real redeeming pieces of humanity that show potential good. Jesus’ humanity is the biggest sign of that. The other two are Mary and Simon the Cyrenian. Mary cleans up the blood of her son after the scourging. She gives true motherly love in the worst of the situation, seeing him when he falls and helping pick Him up, and doing the hardest thing for a parent, bury her son. The other example of true humanity, though after some convincing, is the guy I see myself as: Simon the Cyrenian. He’s an ordinary guy who was pressed into service to help carry Jesus’ cross to Calvary when He couldn’t do it anymore. Even Jesus needed help. He still does, and that’s our mission today. At one point, Jesus falls, and can’t continue. The guards and people alike rush to hit the lowly Jesus, and Simon refuses to carry the cross any further if they continue to hurt the innocent Jesus. He refused to comply with sin. That’s the sort of approach I want to have in my life. 

I don’t like Good Friday because I see all my sin holding Jesus on the cross. But it is still crucially important, because without it, I can’t be saved. No one could truly be saved. Thank you God for loving us so, and I’m sorry for all we did to You.