Thursday, 21 April 2011

GOOD Friday!

Have you ever thought like me: GOOD Friday! Why in God's name do we call this day of all days GOOD? Surely what happened on that Friday on a hill outside Jerusalem made it the blackest day in human history.

When I reflect on it I realise that this day is good because of the astonishing goodness of God that was revealed, and because God has turned our greatest evil  into our greatest blessing, an unending source of goodness for us.

Some mystics have used an image that I have found helpful in deepening my understanding of what happened when Jesus died. The image is that of a poultice - a home-made remedy placed on a festering wound to draw out the puss.

On the Cross it is as if Jesus willingly and with inexpressible love laid himself on the awful, foul, raw wound of this world's sin and anguish and bottomless sorrow. He took into himself all the dark evil this world could offer and he overcame it with love. To the horrific end he kept on loving, kept on forgiving, kept on praying, kept on trusting in his Father. There was no hate or desire for revenge, no self-pity in his great heart.

Like the healing poultice Jesus draws out the poison and gives goodness in return for hate,  mercy for vicious cruelty, light for darkness. The Lord's love unto death sets us free.

The Cross shows our sin at its worst and divine love at its best.