Friday, 25 March 2016

Why Good Friday?

So what is good about Good Friday when it is a dark blotch on our history? In German it is called Karfreitag, Sorrowful Day; maybe we too should call it Black Friday, or Bleak Friday, or even Sad Friday as it is the day that we remember Jesus the Messiah suffered Roman torture and ultimately death on a cross. It was a Friday a few hours before Shabbat was to start, about two thousand years ago; a man from Galilee who we believe was and is the Son of God, looked up from a Roman cross on a craggy hill outside Jerusalem and cried out “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”

Today we decided to bake our own hot cross buns which I must say turned out a lot of work but the result turned out, well wonderful. After mixing all the ingredients there followed a lot of kneading of the dough then waiting a few hours for the dough to rise before baking. The smell of fresh baked buns wafted throughout the cottage which was beautiful. But the memory of the day was all but beautiful.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Jesus died that sorrowful day; accounts tell us that the earth trembled and a huge curtain known as the veil that early Jewish tradition stated was 4 inches thick was torn top to bottom. That veil separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple and only the High Priest was permitted to pass beyond this veil once a year and make atonement for the Jewish nation. The time fabric was torn and broken on this Friday.

And today, about late afternoon, Lynda and I found ourselves on a craggy hill with a single cross overlooking the valley, not outside Jerusalem but Magaliesburg. It was hard going climbing the rocky path and the thought of what the Messiah did for me and you on another hill far away, a long time ago sure hit home. That day when God’s Righteousness met God’s Grace and became Good Friday.

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