Were You There?

It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him.
Mark 15:25

It’s not too late, you know. Even if you can’t (or couldn’t) be a part of the Via Dolorosa (the Stations of the Cross) or the Good Friday evening liturgy, there’s still time to go watch the livestream, or read the Passion story in Mark 14–15 privately, or listen to this excellently chanted Passion according to John. On this day or even tomorrow, in some way, go to the cross and bear witness.

Good Friday is good because it is the heart of our faith: the unmistakable reality of God’s love. What happened on the cross, that instrument of torture and death, is why we love and worship God, the one who loved us first. God chose to live a mortal human life. The Maker of the Universe experienced at once both suffering and death in a world of sin and injustice, and the unspeakable pain of losing a child to that same brutal world. God saw our pain and brokenness and chose not to look away from them or stay above them, but to enter into them with us. Spare some time to look at Jesus on the cross.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter was a revelation of God’s power on a cosmic scale, and it is good and right that we celebrate Jesus’ victory over death. But there could not be, indeed there cannot be resurrection without death. Jesus’ triumph over the grave depended on his willingness to go to the cross. “The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,” said Paul, “but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” That is the power of God’s love, realized not in glory but in dust, sweat, and keening.

Were you there?

In peace,