April 14, 2017

Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

Is 52:13-53:12
Ps 31: 2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Jn 18: 1—19:42

“See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.”  Is 52:13

Imagine the utter demonic madness of the day: the abuse, the crazed delight of the soldiers as they took pleasure in brutalizing Jesus every step of the way up to Calvary; the sinister and contemptuous mocking of the Jewish hierarchy, who no doubt experienced simultaneous flashes of vindication and fear.  The miracle worker had apparently run out of miracles and was now in their power.  The chaos and frenzy of the crowds and the viciousness of the executioners were mirrored by nature itself.  The sky darkened and the earth split.

It truly is a good Friday.  The death of Jesus on the cross gives meaning to the suffering of every believer.  Jesus didn’t simply tell us to pick up our crosses and follow Him.  He showed us how to do it.  His salvific death on the cross fixed the moment in time, became the end of one era and the beginning of another.  That precise moment of Christ’s death became the center of all time, the axis on which the earth turns forever and always.

Ask anyone.  The world feels like it is spinning out of control.  We awake every day to news of war, disease, famine, slavery, catastrophic earthquakes and mudslides and floods and tornados, and the list of hourly tragedies seems endless.

At times like these, and when my world feels like it is spinning out of control, I throw myself at the foot of the cross and hold on.  The world keeps spinning chaotically around me, but the cross is a fixed point.  It is fixed throughout all time.  The world spins, but the cross is its axis.

We may weakly pick up our crosses, fragile persons that we are, but we do pick them up and follow after the One who carried His first.  We lay those crosses, those sufferings at His feet and He transforms them into works of salvation for the world.

It truly is a good Friday.  It is the day that turns suffering into victory for us all.