In the past week I have received several emails from friends in other places. They were writing to say that in their particular church services last Sunday, the acknowledgement of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem was barely mentioned, if at all. Many of them are not having Good Friday services either because "talking about crucifixion and death is too negative." Wha......??
I hate to remind people, but in order to provide salvation for humankind, Jesus' death on the cross was God's choice, for whatever reason. I don't have to completely understand it. I don't have to like it. Was it negative? You bet it was a negative experience......for God/Christ in his human form.
He not only provided the sacrificial lamb to suffer in our place, He actually experienced the suffering himself! Talk about ultimate forgiveness extended to a creation run amok.
I don't always enjoy the Good Friday service. I don't always feel in the mood to acknowledge that my own lack of obedience to my creator is added to the disobedience of other humans that put Jesus on that cross. I don't always enjoy experiencing what I call "necessary guilt": the simple acknowledgement that I have not been perfect as God is perfect and that I too need Christ's sacrifice to provide my pathway to restoration of harmony with my heavenly father. However, I do need that reminder every so often and it is good to have it in the midst of my Christian community; corporate acknowledgement of our own imperfection and deep love and gratitude for our creator God who delivers us from the ultimate consequences of that state.
From the pain and humiliation of public crucifixion to the risen, conquering Christ. Redemption for the world coming from the suffering of Christ our God on the cross. GOOD Friday indeed!