Today we stare into the horrific. Today our hope seems to be undone, unravelled, cursed and dead. Today, a day commonly referred to as Good Friday, is one that strikes many of us as something more bad than good. Something more akin to the German phrase for the day, Karfreitag, Mourning Friday. Or Silent Friday as it is referred to elsewhere.
Regardless of what we call the day, though, it compels us to stop, to remember, to look into those things which we work so hard to avoid looking at - the depravity of our systems of power and rightness, our complicity, either through active or passive means, in making sure that those systems are well oiled, online and ready for our use at all times, and the injustice that those systems enact on all who stand against them, even Jesus Christ our Lord.
But if we will have the courage to look into this day, we'll see sin and the ways of death for what they are - murderous monsters. Simultaneously, we'll also see Christ for all that he is - the One willing and able to take on and be battered and consumed by this monstrosity for all of our sake. And that's why, the only reason why, this day can be called Good [Etymologically, it seems that the words good or holy can be interchanged in reference to this day.].
By now it was noon. The whole earth became dark, the darkness lasting three hours—a total blackout. The Temple curtain split right down the middle. Jesus called loudly, “Father, I place my life in your hands!” Then he breathed his last.
A dread and marvelous mystery we see come to pass this day. He whom none may touch is seized; he who looses Adam from the curse is bound. He who tries our hearts and inner thoughts is unjustly brought to trial. He who closed the abyss is shut in prison. He before whom the powers of heaven stand with trembling, stands before Pilate; the Creator is struck by the hand of the creature. He who comes to judge the living and the dead is condemned to the cross; the Destroyer of hell is enclosed in a tomb.
The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood--
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.
Good Friday is not about us trying to "get right with God." It is about us entering the difference between God and humanity and just touching it for a moment. Touching the shimmering sadness of humanity's insistence that we can be our own gods, that we can be pure and all-powerful.