Over 2000 years ago on a Friday on a hill outside a Middle Eastern city, the world stopped. The citizens of the city and surrounding countryside were complacent in the state-sanctioned murder of an innocent man.
Today, Jesus of Nazareth was murdered. He dies a horrific , painful death after being publically humiliated . One of his closest friends betrayed Him into the hands of the Roman authorities, His other friends ran away from Him. Peter denied knowing Him three times.
Jesus, Son of Mary, was murdered for our sins.
Even though we might know ” the rest of the story” of this Holy Week, let us stop today and ponder Jesus’ trial and death.
Today, let us sit and ponder how we all participate in trying, condemning and killing Jesus. My friend T, although much younger than me, explained Holy Friday in a tangible, relatable way.
“On this Good Friday, may our focus be that Jesus is all of us – all the broken, belittled, discarded, and abandoned.
He is the LGBT+ person marginalized and condemned to hell by the religious. He is the Native American raped of their land, livelihood, and culture by the privileged. He is the immigrant cast aside and cast out by the cruel and incompassionate. He is the enemy bombed to death by the imperialistic. He is the family denied healthcare by the inhumane and their systems of injustice. He is the sinner judged and bullied with fear. He is the minority discriminated and smeared. He is the woman devalued and abused by inequality.
On the cross, Jesus is all of us. He was not crucified by an angry death-requiring God but, rather, by the violent, life-choking grip of the power seekers, the graceless, the evil doers–all that is religious. Jesus did not die for the sins of the world. He was killed because of the sins of the world.”
Scripture tells us that we see the face of Christ in the broken, unclean, unwanted ” throw-away people who are mostly found on the fringes of society. There are numerous stories of our LORD breaking bread with people whom the Jewish and Roman authorities claimed were” not like us”.
Jesus is in our neighbor— even those whom we think, or even claim out loud as our enemy. When we refuse to see the humanity of someone who does not believe, pray, look like, love, or otherwise live as we do, we are crucifying Jesus. It is NOT enough to act as though Jesus is only found in ” my people”, nor is it acceptable to think He can be found in ” only those marginalized who look and/or act like me. If we claim to be Christian– yet exclude anyone from fellowship, we are taking part in Jesus’ death.
After all, what we do to each other as sister and fellow humans, we do to Him. Simply put, in Christ there is no ” other”.
Remember what we observe this Friday, and remember that all of us are Christ’s Beloved. How we treat each other is how we treat Him.
In quiet contemplation,
Good Friday 2018