I’m writing my Good Friday post on Saturday. Considering that we haven’t yet sent out our Christmas cards I’m way ahead of schedule.
The post begins on Wednesday. My phone buzzes while I am in a business meeting. It is a text message from a friend in Uganda:
Tough night at the [cancer] ward. Three children died within an hour of each other. Much sorrow. THeir names were Grace, Asha, and Charles. Another, Agnes, died last week. We bought her a pillow the day before she died. She was so thankful. First pillow she ever had.
Another child I know from the clinic is in critical condition – his liver is shutting down.
Against the backdrop of this horror I was in the midst of negotiations over a business project. It wasn’t anything extraordinary, just people with money wanting certain terms they believed necessary to protect their investments and other people not wanting those terms because they felt they were too onerous. True and total ridiculousness… we were all arguing over a pie while these children died.
We were arguing over how to divide up a pie as Maundy Thursday turned into Good Friday.
At times I felt like I was just one of the Roman soldiers at the foot of the cross casting lots for Jesus’ clothing…
And I suppose I was.
I was also like the thieves on the cross.
But I was also like the beloved disciple who stayed at the cross and like the women who did not leave and like the rich man who paid for the body and gave over the tomb.
In short I was like every single person on that hill of death on that Friday called good.
But that is the point of the story isn’t it?
It is called Good Friday not because it was an easy, breezy, happy day but because it is the day that changed history, the day on which all who say they side Jesus are ransomed from themselves. There is no discrimination on that Good Friday – we are all equal at the foot of the cross, equally loved.
And for Grace and Charles and Asha and Agnes there is the reality that one day their eyes will open again just as Jesus’ did on Easter Sunday and they will be resurrected to a new heaven and a new earth and all of their past pain and suffering will be as nothing when compared to the glory that awaits them. I believe that as never before. It must be true. Good Friday requires it.