Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Good Friday is always a hard day for me. The whole idea of Jesus suffering makes me uncomfortable. As a pessimist, you would think that I would be attracted to the darkness of Good Friday and the Cross but instead I would just as soon skip over it and get to Easter Sunday and the joyful celebration. I much prefer to sing "he's alive" on Sunday morning than to meditate on the beating he endured on Friday.

Last year I went to a Good Friday service and I was forced to remember all that Jesus endured on the Cross. It was a difficult but needed reminder for me. It seems it is easier for me to sin and to do my own thing when I think of God as only loving and forgiving but Good Friday reminds me what it cost him to forgive me. I don't like that so much. It is much harder for me to turn my back on God when I am faced with the grim brutality of the cross. I am sure this is why I have never been able to watch The Passion of the Christ. I fear that it might permanently negate my selfishness.

Good Friday and the cross also provides a glimpse of what is expected of those who call themselves Christians. I have always thought that the American church culture is much more an Easter celebration faith than a sacrificial Good Friday faith. We like the good times and benefits but when the going gets tough we get going back to our safety and comfort zone. Yet if we claim to be Christ like are we not supposed to pick up our cross as well? This doesn't mean we all have to be martyrs but I do think it means that we are supposed to follow Christ's example of being sacrificial. We are called to give our time, money, goals, talents and opinions over to God for him to do what he pleases with them. How can we say no to that request on Good Friday?