Good Friday.
How could Jesus’ brutal murder be remembered by this moniker?
One might suspect it a ghastly mistake, a misnomer by Easter’s chronicler.
The Son of God betrayed and beaten, condemned, scourged, crucified.
Where after a cry of dereliction, he breathed his last, and with him, hope died.
The light of the world extinguished as the heavens above went dark.
Creation mourned its Maker’s suffering, and evil left its mortal mark.
But how can one death change the world, prompting dark and stormy sky?
What really happened atop Golgotha? Why did Jesus die?
No doubt Jesus’ enemies sought his death to sure up privilege and positions.
Stirring up the crowds to call for blood, Pilate caved to their conditions.
But don’t confuse man’s machinations, nor credit diabolical designs;
Do not believe Jesus was impotent, a helpless victim of heinous crimes.
For Christ’s suffering on that lonely hill was no accidental execution.
The long laid plans of love, now made flesh, hung there voluntarily as sin’s solution.
The answer to the Christian story’s divine dilemma.
How can eternal goodness bring forth justice while still justifying sinners?
The only way, a worthy substitute pay sin’s wages, to empty evil’s ledgers.
In mocking theatre, soldiers ignorant of Scripture, shrouded Jesus with our sin;
Echoing Isaiah’s ancient whispers, a scarlet robe they laid on his tortured skin.
Bowing down in jest to Heaven’s High King they crowned him with our curse;
Pressing thorns into his brow, little did they know, creation’s scars he would reverse.
For Jesus suffered our stripes, carried our cross, and died the death we owe,
Love’s public disgrace it plundered the grave’s claim, while delivering to evil death’s blow.
But why?
Why the suffering? Why the cross? Why can’t God just forgive?
Cannot Heaven’s judge simply pass over evil? Who cares? Let us go! Let us live!
But what of the victims? The brutalised? The tyrannised? Injustice cries out from the land;
How can Holy Love pretend sin benign, and wave it away in a cruel sleight of hand?
It does matter, each compounding deposit of dark thoughts, cutting words, selfish deeds;
Our seared consciences bear us no excuse, for a love that wanders, or grows cold, or recedes.
The net sum of our exploits, earth damaged by evil, we’re a shadow of who we should be;
The secret cost of transgressions made public, Heaven’s answer in blood on the tree.
The cross is God’s logic, a paradox of justice, condemning sin while granting us pardon;
Killing death through his dying, Jesus gave up his ghost, with his corpse being entombed in a garden.
So speak of Good Friday, this day of atonement, for God’s scars tell the story of love;
The cross is an open invitation, trust freely in Jesus, for a salvation that comes down from above.