Good Friday – John 18:1––19:42
Then Jesus bowed his head and died. (John 19:30b, NCV)
“God is dead” some say.
“God isn’t dead” others feel the need to argue.
We have this argument all the time, between believers and non-believers… whether or not God is dead… whether or not God is useful… whether or not God listens, and responds…
I think we are having the wrong debate… or at least, wrestling with the wrong idea.
Jesus was born, we celebrated that in Christmas. Jesus lived as one of us. In Jesus, God experiences our life; our trials and tribulations, everything. God knows what it is like to lose a father (Joseph is not mentioned, so tradition says he passed away). God knows what it is like to lose a friend and close family member (John the Baptist). Jesus knows what it is like to be betrayed (the garden) and tortured (the house of Caiaphas).
But, there is something even more important that, I believe we skip over as we frolic in front of the empty tomb: The Cross.
The cross is not just a pretty pendant on a necklace. The cross is not just fancy artwork we put on our walls. The cross is not just a book holder or tattoo…
The cross is the device by which God experienced our death. So, it is true, “God has died.” Remember that today. Take some time with that thought. Remember the resurrection, yes, but try not to skip past the cross on the way to celebrate the empty tomb.
Merciful God, your Son was lifted up on the cross to draw all people to himself. Grant that we who have been born out of his wounded side may at all times find mercy in him, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen!