For the last forty days or so I have been thinking about this post. Since I wrote about what to give up for Lent, a post that got a lot of traffic, I have been thinking about a Good Friday post that would do the same. Something like, “Why is Good Friday Good?” Or, “How can a brutal murder be described as good?” Or something like that. Something to get search traffic. Something that would be seasonal.
But I haven’t been able to get that post written and now it’s after midnight on Good Friday morning and I have to get this post written. In the middle of the night. After an exhausting week in many ways. Ending with five hours on the road.
There is a luxury in historical hindsight, an ability to see the lessons without going through the event. And it is that hindsight that named this morning Good. In real time, on the ground in Jerusalem, there was nothing good about spittle mixed with blood. There was nothing good about a suicidal man, remorse-ridden. There was nothing good about a group of people accepting guilt–and that momentary statement being used as the justification for generations of atrocities.
In the moment, the pain was excruciating. Had to be. Abandonment. Rejection. Nails. In the moment, there was little energy for discerning the lessons. Jesus was not working on a three point sermon, 10 lessons for a happy Good Friday, quick fashion lessons from the suffering savior (“a seamless tunic should be in everyone’s closet.”) No trite summaries. No cute sayings for surviving in the middle of trials (“It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.”) Not even a neatly tied up blog post with some nice moral.
Just raw pain. And in the middle of it, forgiveness.
“God. How awful.”