Good Friday. The holiest Friday of the year. Today we commemorate the brutal Passion and Death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is so much that can be said about this day. So much that can be learned from it.
For a moment, however, I would like to view Good Friday not from our perspective, but from that of God's.
Traditionally, on the night of Good Friday, Catholics gather to remember the Lord's great sacrifice. During this most solemn liturgy, the reproaches are recited. These remarkable utterings come from God, expressing His feelings at the moment His only Son is dying for our sins through crucifixion.
"My people, what have I done to you? Or in what have I offended you? Answer me.
What more should I have done, and did not do?
I led you out of the land of Egypt, and you prepared a cross for me.
I opened the Red Sea before you, and you opened my side with a lance.
I gave you a royal scepter, and you have given me a crown of thorns.
With great power, I lifted you up, and you have hung me upon a cross.
My people, what have I done to you, or in what have I offended you?
In these brief, beautiful, yet, stark words, the feelings of our Creator, God, are summed up in terms that we mere human beings can relate to. Our God has done everything for us. He has given us everything. He has shown us that through His Son's death on a cross, we have eternal life, and, yet, we still sin, still deny He even exists. We fight among ourselves about what His will is for us, all the while ignoring the one image, the Holy Cross, that carries a message for the ages that if we but follow His holy will we will triumph.
What do we continue to do to God through our sinful behavior? Why do we continually turn our backs on Him to follow our will, a will that is flawed with the stain of sin? Why do we not have the kind of mature and lasting faith in Him after He showed us how much love He has for us by giving up His only Son so that we might live?
Today we walk with the Suffering Servant, Jesus Christ. He was brutalized for us. He was nailed to a cross and hung in bitter agony for three hours while the world passed by, barely pausing to gaze upon it's very Savior. Those who did pause, mocked Him, made fun of Him, taunted Him. Then, they went about their business, not giving Him another thought. And, yet, He died for all!
Let us pause on this holiest of Fridays. Let us pause in solemn remembrance for the sacrifice that was made for us on this very day. Let us pause to remember that our sins made this sacrifice a necessity. But let us also pause in thanksgiving for a God "Who gave His only begotten Son so that we might live." (Jn 3: 16) This is the day of our deliverance and as the sun sets this evening, and we recall our Savior's lifeless body being placed in a tomb, we remember His promise to rise in three days. We now await, with great anticipation, the completion of our Redemption, the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ!
In remembering the reproaches quoted above, we now add:
"My people, look what I have done for you!
I have given you life through my Son!
Come, worship Him, and enter My Kingdom!"