Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday.

It is not a TGIF Friday. It's Good Friday. It commemorates the beginning of Easter, which is the most important Christian holiday. For it commemorates the ending of one ministry and the beginning of another.

Jesus Christ, God incarnate, born into the lineage of King David; raised to be a Galilean carpenter put his hammer down at age thirty and began to disassemble a corrupt religious system and started building up men and women's hearts. The culmination of which was enunciated with the words, "It is finished." Barbara Brown Taylor, a professor of religion and philosophy, eight years ago, wrote:
"... that [what] was finished was the project he had begun, way back when he first saw what kind of explosion it would take to break through the thick rock around the human heart. Teaching would not do it. Neither would prayer or the laying on of hands. If he was going to get through, he had to use something stronger than all of those, and he had to stake his own life on its success. Otherwise why should anyone believe him?"
Jesus Christ, whom on this Passover Day more than two thousand years ago, was violently flogged, ridiculed, led to his place of sacrifice like a lamb, and slaughtered. As Taylor further notes, Jesus' death was probably not as merciful as the doves, goats and lambs being killed in the Temple in Jerusalem that day. Crucifixion is one of the most excruciating forms of execution humanity has ever invented. In the end death "came as a friend and not as an enemy. Death is not painful. It is the dying that hurts."

Jesus died so that he could blot out all sin once and for all. No more transactional animal sacrifices: one dove equals one or ten sins kind of thing. No more division of superior and lesser men. It was never meant to be like that in the first place. Jesus died so that you and I could live out righteous lives: honouring God with all of our being, and loving each other as we would love ourselves. Flesh in Harmony with Spirit.

The great part came when he rose from the cross..."He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!"

Jesus did not just die as a man. He died and rose again as he was in the Beginning. Pneuma = Spirit. First in flesh to prove to his disciples who he said was. Second as God just as it was prophesied by all the earlier heralds. Thus began his next ministry, embodied by the saints and counselled by the Holy Spirit, leading people to recreate themselves.

He has been calling us to get it right.
We can still get it right.

For several years now I have made it my tradition to observe Good Friday with a solemness, by staying home other than for travel to church for service. I meditate on the day, and try to keep most distractions down to a minimum. I am okay with how others (believers) observe Good Friday. This is just my way.

I enjoy Christmas, but feel it is getting too pagan with all the emphasis on materialism. I will take a thousand Easter's over a thousand Christmases.

He Lives!

JAPB

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