Good Friday

Open Your Bible

John 18:28-40, John 19:1-42, Isaiah 52:13-15, Isaiah 53:1-7

Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. I could rave about her skill in pages upon pages (and I have), but one technique that is particularly captivating is her use of irony. For those who catch it, the result is a satirical critique of her characters (and, by extension, her readers) who are exposed as morally abhorrent.  

The dramatic ironies in this reading are all over, and the result is the same.  

The Jewish people who handed Jesus over wouldn’t enter Pilate’s headquarters to avoid becoming impure for the Passover. They sought purity while seeking innocent blood.

Later Pilate asks, “What is truth?” (John 18:38) to the One who is the source of truth, the very Word from which all reality came into being.  

Then, standing in the position meant to discern and execute justice, Pilate abdicated his responsibility to the changing whims of the mob (even when clearly convinced they are wrong). He used the very power given to him to allow injustice.  

Likewise soldiers crowned Jesus and dressed Him royally, mocking the “king” who thought to challenge the great Caesar’s power. They then mocked His thirst by holding up vinegar on a hyssop branch while He poured out His life for all who thirst. 

Throughout these readings, we are shown a man who appeared to some of no account and to some even cursed. Yet for those with different eyes, this vile tale of political intrigue is actually the destruction of all vileness, politically or otherwise. 

And yet after, “It is finished” (John 19:30), we are left in the cold tomb, waiting. Like the Israelites eating the paschal lamb, ready to flee Egypt during the Passover, there would be quite a journey ahead for Christ’s followers, whose broken body was to be their true food. The Lord had done His work; soon it would be time for His people to move.  

The wilderness we are walking through since being freed from our captivity to death may sometimes appear dire. But if reading through 1 & 2 Chronicles has taught us anything, it is that we shouldn’t be fooled by appearances. While the mockers at Christ’s death had a heyday with their ironic gestures, God was weaving an even greater irony out of their actions.  

In a subversion of every possible expectation, He gathered up our brokenness and, in swallowing the whole cup, declared again over all humanness: “It is good.”

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35 thoughts on "Good Friday"

  1. Terri Baldwin says:

    “It is finished “

  2. Denise N says:

    Praise the Father, Praise the Son, Praise the Spirit three in one…….

  3. Donna Wolcott says:

    The gift of righteousness, paid at such a price. Thank you dear Shepard with praise and love.