Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your
family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be
betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer
death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and
the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
“Crucifixion” by Jacobello Alberegno (circa 1360-1390)
“Golgotha” by Sybil Andrews (1931)
“Trinity” by Domenico Beccafumi (1513)
“Jerusalem: It is Finished” by Jean-Leon Gerome (1867)
“I Tell You the Truth, Today You Will Be with Me in Paradise” by Macha Chmakoff
“Crucifixion” by Pablo Picasso
“Christ’s Cross and Adam’s Tree” by Norman Adams (1989)
“Crucifixion” by Salvador Dali (1954)
Today is Good Friday and Christians the world-round are coming together to remember this day in history. Not only do we celebrate Jesus’ death, but in our remembering, we commemorate the day. Together we remember. It isn’t a day of individualism or personal piety for those of us whom seek to bring this day to the forefront of our lives. It is a day when as a community we can recall the blessed mercy, grace, and love enacted in that day years and years ago. It’s not a day of our own individual benefit in remembering and cherishing; we co-mmemorate this day because it was a co-operation in the co-mmunity of the Trinity.
In Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, and John 17-18 tell of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane to his Father. Jesus the obedient servant is praying for the will of his Father to be done. His time of glorification had come now that “the hour ha[d] come” for his crucifixion. In his death, he was opening up the door for the Spirit of truth to come after him. Although it was Jesus dying on the cross, he was doing this in an act of solidarity within the Trinity. His passionate plea was one of love as his Father “so loved the world he sent his only Son.” Love would conquer through death for the sake of the world.
There are volumes that have been written about the atoning death of Christ. A mere blog entry cannot do any justice to the mystery, abandonment, and love found intertwined at the cross. Let us not forget the cosmic effects of the cross and how we as individuals play a part in the whole picture of redemption. Jesus died for you and me, yes, but also for the bursting-at-the-seams entry of God’s renewed kingdom here on earth. He died in order that death would die. The foe of humanity wrought in the Garden of Eden was killed because of Jesus. We, thankfully and graciously, are a part of it and must cling to the cross. But we must not forget the impact of the cross for all of creation. “For God so loved the world that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” because death was dealt with and would not necessarily have to be a eternal reality for this new Jesus-community.
Here is a suggested reading for today:
Psalm 31: 9-16
Matthew 27: 11-54