Reflection for Friday, April 15, 2022: Good Friday.

No Thumbnail Available
Butterfield, George
Issue Date
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Alternative Title
|Today is Good Friday. This amazes me. We call the Friday on which Jesus was crucified "good." What is good about it?|Isaiah says it is good because it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed, the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all, smitten for the sin of his people, he surrendered himself to death and was counted among the wicked, he took away the sins of many, and won pardon for their offenses.|The writer to the Hebrews says it is good because we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.|The apostle John says it is good because on that day he brought secret disciples out of the shadows. One of the major themes in John's Gospel is that Jesus is the light of the world and to follow him is to live in the day, not the night. In John, chapter 1, he says that the light came into the darkness and the darkness could not overcome it. When darkness and light show up for a fight, it is over immediately. Judas, for example, lived in the darkness. At the last supper, it says that Judas went out (to betray Jesus). Then John adds, "and it was night." Two other disciples also lived in the darkness - Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. They were afraid. Nicodemus originally visited Jesus at night (John 3). And Joseph kept his discipleship secret. But you cannot be a secret disciple of Jesus; you cannot follow the light and remain in the darkness. So John says that when Jesus had died, these two shadow disciples came and asked for his body. They outed themselves. Now, everyone knows; they walk in the light.|John also says that it is good because of the spirit God promises to pour upon us when we gaze upon him whom we have pierced. This statement is a quotation from Zechariah 12. When a New Testament author quotes from the Old Testament, they are begging us to go back and read the original. In the Zechariah text, Jerusalem is being besieged and, for some unknown reason, they execute a young man by piercing him through. Immediately the people realize their mistake and mourn the man's death. When this happens, the Lord says through Zechariah that, as they gaze upon him whom they have pierced, God will pour out upon them a spirit of mercy and intercession. This is John's point. When we who have pierced Jesus - and who among us has not - God will give us a spirit of mercy and intercession. He will pour that spirit upon us. So, as we gaze upon a crucifix or an icon of the crucified Lord or the image of the dead Jesus in our hearts, God promises to bless us. I don't know about you but I need a spirit of mercy. I can't just call up mercy by my own efforts. I need a spirit of intercession. Intercession wears me out, unless God gives me a spirit through which I want to pray for others.|It is Good Friday. Everything about it is indeed good.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
These reflections may not be sold or used commercially without permission. Personal or parish use is permitted.
PubMed ID