There is always something of an asterisk after the word "good" on Good Friday. Of course, there are entirely appropriate theological justifications for its goodness. We are blessed because of Christ taking on the curse that was rightfully ours. We live because Jesus died. Because of the Messiah's suffering we may thrive.
But let us not forget that this is a terrible, terrible day. As Melito of Sardis said 1800 years ago:
"He who hung the earth is hanging.
He who fixed the heavens in place has been fixed in place.
He who laid the foundations of the universe has been laid on a tree.
The master has been profaned.
God has been murdered."
The goodness of today is all God's, and surely not ours. Tonight, as the old hymn laments, we hear our mocking voices call out amongst the scoffers. It was our sin that held Him there.
Even more so, we must take our place alongside the Sanhedrin and Pilate as we concomitantly condemn Him and wash our hands of Him, as though we can escape our role in God's crucifixion. We must take our places alongside the soldiers, mocking His lordship and whipping Emmanuel. We must take our places alongside the disciples, found anywhere but alongside their master and friend. We must take our places alongside Peter, denying Christ in a last ditch effort to save ourselves.
But God chooses us anyway. In spite of our very worst, Jesus offers the very best: Himself.
So, this Friday is good, but only despite us. We are the asterisk to Good* Friday.
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Simultaneously a sinner and a saint.