Friday, April 2, 2010


Good Friday was warm and sunny, a sure sign that spring has come. I had taken time off from work to focus on these days, which are central to the Christian faith. Especially for those who were brought up as Christians from birth (such as I), Good Friday can come and go without much reflection. We know what it’s all about: we know the story of betrayal, arrest, questioning, torturing, and death of Jesus.

This year I spend part of the day walking and reflecting. I wanted to have some time set aside from the daily routines so I could maybe gain a new understanding of what this day means to me.

I had thought of going to a church to reflect, but something about the warm day and sunshine seemed to be drawing me outside – perhaps in the warmth of the day, I could find a quiet place where I might be lead to an understanding.

My question was how should recall this day. Do I focus on the suffering and death of Jesus? How would Jesus want us to recall this day?

Gratitude. That is the understanding that came out of my reflections. That is simply what Jesus would want me to feel about his suffering and death. Profound gratitude.

The deed is done; never again need Jesus suffer and die. As some would say “His pain is our gain.” We are freed from sin and Jesus taught us how to live our lives.

Since the deed is done, once and for all time, it is not necessary to focus on the brutal treatment Jesus received. This suffering is described in the Gospels and portrayed in detail in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. The suffering is fact, but the fact or details of the suffering should not the focus point of our understanding of what it means for our lives.

I don’t believe Jesus wants us to suffer unnecessarily. We don’t need to invite suffering, because life will present each of us with our own share of suffering. Or friends or family around us will have their share of suffering. But we know Jesus understands our suffering and is with us. And I believe Jesus wants us to be with each other in the suffering and needs that we experience in life. I believe that being with each other in their time of suffering or need is the good way to demonstrate our gratitude for what Jesus did.

Gratitude. Gratitude for profound love for us that Jesus demonstrated. Gratitude for showing us a way to live and be with others. Gratitude. That is how I would sum up the meaning of this Good Friday.

1 comment:

bing said...

Well said. This is true. But I perceive this day as a remembrance of the day God bestowed forgiveness through Jesus death so we can live away from the bondage of sin through Jesus' resurrection.

And I believe , just like you do, that God does want us to invite suffering but the suffering He allows us to undergo is to teach us to be closer to Him, to reveal us His grace of love and compassion, to derive strength from Him by vanishing our pride, and to teach us to trust Him in our needs.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter...we just went to my in-laws in Concord, MA for Easter dinner but had to be back to CT before 10 last night.