Friday, March 21, 2008

Holy Week: Santo Viernes

Good Friday. How can it be good when Christ was brutally crucified and died today? How can it be called anything else when because of His death we are freed from the consequence of our sin once and for all? In Spanish Good Friday is called Santo Viernes or Holy Friday. Christ going to the cross and dying for our sins is the single most holy act ever done. Holy Friday fits.

Tonight I participated in a Seder meal at the house church of some friends and neigbors. The Seder meal is eaten on Passover by Jews. It is the meal Jesus shared with his disciples the night before he was arrested and died on the Cross. It's a beautiful tradition and I really don't know why Christians don't celebrate it every year. The entire meal is a reminder of the suffering the Jewish people endured as slaves in Egypt and their gratefulness to God for bringing them out of slavery. There are several elements in the meal that point to the Messiah and take on special meaning if you are a Christian participating in the tradition.

As I thought about Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross tonight I wondered about his separation from the Father. Scripture says He was abandoned by God. What could that have been like? Alone and cut off from God, the Father. In excruciating pain and not able to access God's presence to help Him through it. He was truly godforsaken.

What exactly does "godforsaken" mean? Webster's dictionary defines it as "wretched, neglected, pitiable, desolate, remote, deserted." Words that describe Jesus hanging in agony on that Cross somehow taking on all of our sin and being sacrificed for them all. The atonement offering sacrificed at the Temple no longer needed. Once and for all God died for us so we could live free of condemnation. But, to get there He was truly "godforsaken".

A dark night. And all I could think about was how much I take Him for granted...


Penny said...

Thank-you!!! Thank-you for this awesome reminder of what Good Friday and Easter are really about. Words cannot describe the joy and pain I feel all at the same time when thinking of His sacrifice for us all.

kristi said...

good friday...i've never quite understood why we call it "good" when it's the day we commemorate jesus actually dying. i spent "good" friday lazing around at the beach (ok maybe not exactly lounging with 3 kids) and not really thinking much about these events that are so important to my faith. rick wrote a post about what we are going to do about easter--we are in such a weird place this year.

so thanks so much (again) for posting these thoughts.