Good Friday

And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.  And sitting down they watched him there;  And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

. . . .

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.  And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

The Gospel of Matthew 27:35-37, 45-53

59 comments

  1. SpaceyG says:

    Let me channel Rogue… first, a really good toddler whine is in order, “I thought this was a blog about Georgia politics.”

    But since you’ve turned this into Sunday School, Erick, I’m sure all of America will be will be praying earnestly on this very High Holy day for a continuation of their usual state of tolerant benevolence they no doubt hear preached regularly from their very own pulpits.

  2. Donkey Kong says:

    Spacy, I am increasingly wowed at your own intolerance and ability to disparage the use of stereotypes for for some groups while encouraging their use for others.

    Ohhh, the double standard of liberals. See, Spacy, conservatives don’t claim to be 100% tolerant, and though I speak for myself and not “the movement,” I’ll say this — we search for truth. And that means when we find what we think is truth, we are obliged to hold onto it (for what fool, having found truth, would give credence to a lie?). To liberals who have embraced relativism, the whole concept of a universal truth (or, at least, that it can be known) is absurd. In their worship of relativism and the placement of all ideas on an equal plane, liberals cannot criticize other beliefs without violating their own relativism, as criticism implies a varying order of truth and legitimacy. By your own critique, Spacy, you violate your beliefs.

  3. boyreporter says:

    Easter = Superstition

    But it’s fun, ’cause I always wait to see if Jesus sees his shadow and we have six more weeks of winter.

  4. Rick Day says:

    Oh Good Lords,

    If I want to be exposed to myths about Zombie Jesus, I’ll watch Mythbusters ™ .

    Eric….(shakes head) do you expect someone to read this and suddenly ‘convert’? As if those words were magical (as the giants, dragons, zombies, burning bushes, and water/wine party tricks within Your Word ™ ) tomes of conversion!

    Know what are you doing here? You are proselytizing. Its what you Christers ™ ‘do’.

    And it irks me to no end. You remind me of my grandparents and not the good parts.

    Oh, and you are required to be persecuted and ridiculed for your beliefs, according to your Book ™. So take your medicine like a good little church boy.

    Do you guys get reward points from G-isa for each ‘soul’ you ‘save’? Feathers in your wings? New harp strings? Double the eternity of basking in Love at the Feet of The Lord ™?

    I don’t get you guys. You all appear smart, yet you are all indoctrinated from birth to embrace this ancient Jewish sect. And you continue push it on everyone as if it were brand new gospel.

    When you do this, you push people away. We are smart. We have computers and we know how to spell words and put coherent (Well..some of us) thoughts on a screen.

    We know the story. As adults, unless we find the missing Mysterious Jesus ™ in prison (where He belongs, the scalawag!) we have made up our minds to either drink the KoolAid ™ or walk away.

    Have another drink of His Blood ™ on me.

    If this post offends you, I suggest you do the Christian Thing ™

    Forgive ™ me.

    Happy Zombie Jesus Day ™

    Rick Day ™

  5. jsm says:

    Wow. So Erick posts on his own site about a day that he deems significant and that he celebrates, and he gets attacked for it by the preachers of tolerance. Amazing.

  6. NonPartisanGA says:

    Galatians 6:7
    Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.

  7. Donkey Kong says:

    Isn’t it, jsm? Absolutely amazing. Not surprising, though, as the preachers of tolerance are the exact opposite of what they claim.

  8. Rick Day says:

    Um, I have posted this post for each of the last two years.

    Well, don’t you have a rule about posting of OLD NEWS?

    This just in….Fransisco Franco, like Jesus, is STILL DEAD.

    jsm: that is NOT what eric did. He cut and pasted a controversial bible verse. And that was that.

    There was not one original “written by Eric” damn word in that post.

    If I can get people to think for themselves, instead of allowing others to think for them (Obama, et al).

    Hell yes, he can post what he wants, and he can accept the reactions to that post because that is why we have this format.

    Nonpartisan: your mythical words have no power over those not deluded by its impotency. Quit flapping your Holy Gums ™.

    I so detest this time of year. Go to church! Off the porch! Bad Christian, No wafer!

    (shakes head) Jesus Freaks….so many Christians… so FEW lions.

  9. Icarus says:

    I rarely get involved in discussions like this, either on the internets or in person. I grew up Methodist. Methodists have a gift from sucking all the emotion out of religion and leave you in a pattern of practices that you don’t really enjoy, much less want to spread it to others.

    That said, I do take my religion seriously, which may come as a surprise to those who are familiar with my posting here. (That sentence alone is reason enough to give me pause, but I digress).

    And in taking my religion seriously, I also have to take the strong negative reactions to it from those like Rick has posted seriously, as well.

    Rick is a grown man, free to choose his own path. He’s clearly doing so. I doubt he’s open to reconsidering at this juncture, and that’s his business. But Rick probably has hardened his heart toward Christians in part because we, especially in groups, fail to meet the standards that we publicly espouse.

    We have made the problem worse by bringing Christianity as an unspoken plank in the Republican platform. Hipocracy in religion is bad enough. Hypocracy in religion AND politics is unacceptable.

    I’ve been uncomfortable with the merging of social conservatism and the Republican party since the Robertson takeover of county and state conventions in the early 90’s. My thoughts generally were that merging overt religious practices into the party cheapened the Republican brand.

    It was about two months ago, as I sat in church with Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Independants, and those who totally don’t care about politics that I realized that I had it wrong.

    Merging the two didn’t cheapen the value of my party, it cheapens the value of my religion.

    Rick, you asked for forgiveness in your first post. I could tell you that that is exactly what this season is about, but that’s not really what you’re after. I’ll personally forgive you for an attack on my religion. Seriously and sincerely.

    I hope one day you can forgive those of us who have fallen and will continue to fall short of the ideals that we cherish.

  10. Holly says:

    Icarus points out in his comment that Easter is all about our forgiveness. Rick is right in saying we’re supposed to espouse that forgiveness, too. Is it easy to take? No, but no one said being a Christian was supposed to be easy. Happy Good Friday to everyone, however you celebrate it (or don’t).

  11. shep1975 says:

    To tag along with Icarus’s post, one thing that is the most prevalent, and most often overlooked, part of the Christian faith is Jesus spoke redemption to those who were not self-righteous, but those who were suffering in their sins. The basis was the simple idea that it is the sick, not the healthy, which need a doctor.

    There was religious hypocrisy in Jesus’ day and he railed against it, calling the religious establishment, among more pleasant monikers, “a brood of vipers.”

    In the end, he was executed for challenge of the authority of the day. You can choose to believe that his dead body was buried and that was it or the he rose on the 3rd day, I personally have chosen the latter.

    As followers of Jesus, those who have chosen to believe are not made into perfect individuals. There are still the same old failings, prejudices, lusts, etc. The reason is we are all human, not divine. I have, at various times in my life, been Jewish, Catholic, Baptist (Catholic to Baptist was a bigger leap than Jewish to Catholic), Methodist, and now I attend a non-denominational church. With all of the different rules, regulations, beliefs, and dogma I have experienced, the one thing that I have finally learned is it all comes down to three simple things; faith in that there is God and in the gospel of Jesus Christ, hope in the redemption that was provided, and love for not only God and what He has done for me, but for my fellow human beings as fellow passengers to the grave.

    A lot of inhumanity has been done in the name of God. A lot of un-Godly things have been done in the name of God. But you know what; a lot of inhumanity has been done in the name of politics: Not just by communism and fascism, both of which have denied the existence of God in one form or another, but how many innocent went to the French guillotine in the name of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity? The first French Republic was officially atheist in response to the once all powerful French Catholic Church.

    You don’t need lions Rick Day, the French found the guillotine worked a lot quicker; the Nazi found the gas chambers worked more in mass and the Communists found that billing the bullets back to the families was much more economical.

    Sure there were the Crusades 1,000 years ago. Sure there was Salem 315 years ago.

    But there is also Mother Teresa and the thousands of lives she made better for the suffering who would be cared for rather than die on the streets of India.

    There is also the countless Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Christian, etc, etc hospitals that were started to care for the sick and needy.

    Emory, Mercer and even Harvard were all started as seminaries. How much good has been produced from the research in those institutions that has benefited all of us?

    The anti-slavery movement that grew into the Republican Party started in churches. Pat Robertson did not bring Christianity to the GOP, it is at the heart of the party’s founding and there has ALWAYS been the struggle between the more social conservative and more economic conservative wings of the party for dominance.

    The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is an issue of faith. The reality of Jesus of Nazareth is that his teachings, when followed at the core of their basic teaching, faith, hope and love, have made Christianity one of the greatest forces for goodness, mercy and charity in the history of the world, despite for the fact that the force of those teachings has been bore by a creature as imperfect as man.

  12. jsm says:

    “jsm: that is NOT what eric did. He cut and pasted a controversial bible verse. And that was that.”

    So what? If you don’t like it, move on. You haters of anything related to Christianity get your panties all in a wad because someone posts a few Bible verses? And then you accuse him of “proselytizing?” Are you kidding me? What a farce. I can’t help but laugh.

    I’m sorry people have given you a completely inaccurate view of what Chrisitanity is and what it stands for. Your hate for us and our beliefs seems to consume you, even to the point of complete mischaracterization.

    As you requested, I do forgive you.

  13. patriot says:

    Rick,

    It is perfectly ok for you to reject Christians – as hypocrits, proseytizers, mixing the principles of their faith with the policies of their politics, or whatever it is that “offends” you.

    However, rejecting CHRIST, GOD’S SON, THE SAVIOUR of the world is a grave mistake (sin)that you can only be forgiven for- by GOD, the Creator, Whom you will face one day.

    “The fool has said in his heart…there is no God.”

    We all make choices, some temporary, some transcendant. I pray that you will one day see (or respond to) THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. His name is JESUS, and HE DIED – AND ROSE AGAIN- to pay the penalty for the sins of all humanity.

    You are perfectly free to chose to pay for your own sins, forever… or you can accept HIS love, grace and forgiveness. “It’s a free world…”

  14. boyreporter says:

    Oh, Patriot, lighten up. Or if you stay with the heavy route, listen to Christopher Hitchens, who described Christianity as a “slaughterhouse religion.” What does it say about a religion built on killing a man and hallucinating that he came back to life? First, it’s pretty bloody, and second, it’s a bit crazy. Oh, there’s a third: Christianity is cut and pasted from Judaism and a bunch of other ancient belief systems, and it’s just astounding that so many people pay lip service to it today, when we know so much more than the ignorant bedouins knew back in the day.

  15. Doug Deal says:

    boyreporter,

    Have you actually read what is attributed to be said by Jesus in the bible?

    Anyone who is against the non mystical portion of his teachings is not someone with any shred of morality. You do not have to believe that he is the son of god to subscribe to the philosophy that loving one’s neighbor as one loves oneself is one of the highest virtues.

    Perhaps it is that very teaching that pisses so many on the left off, as it gets in the way of their abject hatred of people on the right for no other reason that mere political disagreements.

  16. shep1975 says:

    Why be surprised. In fact, in honor of the day, buy trapist beer. After all, it’s made by monks!

    Another reason to like Christians…it was monks that kept up beer brewing through the Dark Ages, otherwise, the practice may have been lost.

  17. boyreporter says:

    Donkey, Doug and Shep (there’s a comedy trio in there somewhere): 1)Where’s your defense of “slaughterhouse religion”? 2) Reporters are atheists? Come on. And 3) nobody I know has EVER denied the worth of Jesus’ teachings. It’s about myths and gullibility…and the fact that Jesus’ teachings were tossed into the garbage by his followers eons ago. He was great, whether he existed or not. So were many other good men and women who espoused the gentleness and humanity of Jesus. What’s stupid is worshipping something that espouses killing and supernatural crap that has NOTHING to do with living a righteous life.

  18. Doug Deal says:

    boyreporter,

    nobody I know has EVER denied the worth of Jesus’ teachings

    Then do not attack Christianity in totality. I know about the history of various Christian sects, and I am no friend of crusades, witch hunts, or inquisitions. However, let’s try to find examples that are at least from the past 3 centuries before condemning modern practitioners.

    I am not one to attack people for being hypocrites for not living up to the ideals of their moral code, as anyone who has never failed to live up to his ideal, has established their morals so that it is impossible to break a rule. True hypocrisy is in professing a moral claim for something with no intention of living up to that standard, not failing that standard with one’s best effort as a flawed human being.

    I take great issue, however, with people who never try to live by any rules at all, but attack those who do and occasionally fail.

  19. Doug Deal says:

    Shep,

    I took slaughterhouse religion to mean one that has caused mass killing on a large “industrial” scale.

    However, in retrospect, it could also mean one that might be held by the cows on their way to slaughter. What sort of religion would someone with a predestined and merciless end have anyway?

  20. shep1975 says:

    Or it could mean we worship someone only because he was killed. Since I’m not sure, I’ll wait on him. While he would presume (can we say “prejudge”?) what my thoughts and beliefs are, I won’t make the same judgment.

  21. Jace Walden says:

    I had a phone conversation with a friend earlier today regarding the topic that Icarus referred to. Because of how much the Pharasees in the GOP have demagoged the Christian religion, it’s borderline embarassing to call myself a Christian.

    It’s almost as if the Republican Party is its own protestant offshoot. Just protestantism broke from Catholicism, the GOP broke off from the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

    But, just like protestant churches still share many of the practices of the Catholic Church, the GOP still reeks of self-righteous religous extremists.

  22. Donkey Kong says:

    “What’s stupid is worshipping something that espouses killing and supernatural crap that has NOTHING to do with living a righteous life.”

    You really ARE a follower of Hitchens! The problem, and Hitchens’ issue, is the belief that morality is independent from all religion (i.e. his charge to name one moral act that can be done by a Christian that cannot be done by a non-Christian). The question forces one to consider, though, where did that independent, universal, and eternal morality come from? Is it just an abstract guiding force from eternity? Or do these virtues derive from something greater? If virtue is derived from a God, then worshiping God *is* a virtue in and of itself. Virtue and the God that established this virtue as an order in the world are inseparable.

    We will never agree, boyreporter, because we disagree on the source of virtue. But I am curious of what you consider to be the nature of this virtue, whether it is derived from anything else, or in and of itself it is an eternal and universal idea.

  23. shep1975 says:

    Jace, “Christian” means “follower of Christ.”

    Every religion has been bastardized by people who want power and therefore use that religion to gain the support, trust and blind devotion of those who subscribe to that religion.

    Christianity is no different. However, like I said in my longer post, you don’t need religion to have the same effect. The Nazis and Communists were very good at using “party” in place of religion to create the same opiate of the masses without having to resort to something that was in their vew, as “hokey” as God.

    You shouldn’t be enbarrassed to call yourself a follower of Christ if you yourself are being that example of Christ you wish everyone was.

    I received an email from a Baptist Pastor basically saying I, and the rest of the YRs were immoral for supporting Sunday sales. As the leader of a sect of the Christian faith, he brought back to me every bit of the hypocrisy that lead me to leave the Southern Baptist Church.

    Eventually, after going through various churches, I had to realize that as a follower of Christ, the relationship was not about where I sat on Sunday, but where I was with Him. It’s a confidence of faith that cannot be shaken because it is not built on others, just between who I am and who He is.

  24. Donkey Kong says:

    Jace,

    The GOP is less filled with fundamentalist Christians elsewhere in the US. Here in the heart of the South, they are proliferated throughout our party.

    As a Christian, it is very disappointing to watch the decline of reason in the church. I blame this, and the lack of a classical and historical education, for the terrible positions some Christians have taken. I do believe that one’s religious beliefs have political implications, but ultimately there has been a fundamental shift in our viewpoint of government.

    The viewpoint of government at our founding was to restrain vice. Note the wording of the Declaration: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” The emphasis was not on promoting the enumerated rights, but on protecting them. IOW, restraining vice that encroaches on our inalienable rights. The promotion of virtue was best left to other institutions, such as the church and schools.

    Modern Christianity disagrees. Many social conservatives see the government’s role as to not only restrain vice, but to promote virtue. That is a huge shift in the philosophy towards government, and opens the door to a great many new arenas in which the government delves. It is this change that I disagree, and is the source for my somewhat libertarian viewpoint.

  25. Donkey Kong says:

    Shep,

    You should ask the pastor that you two discuss this very difficult issue over a single-malt one evening.

  26. Jace Walden says:

    Shep,

    That pastor you spoke of (I don’t even know his name, just the type) is the reason that I am not in the Republican Party. It is currently controlled by people like him.

    Hopefully, this won’t continue forever. And I don’t think it will. As more and more of the old folk Southern Baptist anti-everything crowd die off, the more people like us will be able to have our voices heard.

  27. shep1975 says:

    I don’t know about that Jace. I’m pretty high in the party leadership and have been in higher positions. The best we can do is do what we think is right.

    The trouble is, we don’t always agree what the right thing is. The reason you need to be a part of it is when it does become your time to lead, you need to be prepared.

    The GOP is not perfect. We do fight with each other like the Dems do proving they are not perfect.

    DK, I’m a man of the people. That means beer tends to be my drink of choice.

  28. Donkey Kong says:

    Good man, shep!

    Truthfully, I prefer bourbon or gin & tonic, though I probably drink beer the most. I’m still a college student, after all. Natty light is still a staple.

    It’s my belief that when Jesus said “man shall not live on bread alone,” he’s referring to beer.

  29. Donkey Kong says:

    That’s great. My bro graduated from N. GA probably 6 or 7 years ago. Which unit are you in?

  30. bowersville says:

    “how much the Pharisees in the GOP have demagogued the Christian religion, it’s borderline embarrassing to call myself a Christian.”

    I have moved away from calling myself a Christian, I am simply a believer in the salvation offered by G-d the father, one with his son.

    “merging the two (politics & religion) didn’t cheapen the value of my party it cheapens the value of my religion.”

    I will take this a step further, it cheapens the salvation of my Lord.

  31. boyreporter says:

    By “slaughterhouse religion,” Hitchens meant a religion based on the ritual killing of Jesus. It isn’t complicated. We rightly condemn the ignorance and inhumanity of ancient sects who practiced human sacrifice, yet Christianity is based on the same thing…only with clever excuses.

  32. Jace Walden says:

    Donkey Kong,

    I’m in D Co. 1-121 Infantry, part of the 48th Brigade. It’s down here in Milledgeville.

    Bowersville,

    I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Rugby,

    Our annual training this year is overseas. What I went for a few weeks ago was a planning conference.

    BoyReporter,

    Without trying to be too argumentative, Christianity isn’t technically based on the death of Christ. Had Jesus simply died and rotted, there wouldn’t be much to base a religion on. I think the faith itself is based on the Resurrection of Christ, his conquering of death. Although, yes, the crucifixion does tend to get more press coverage than the resurrection.

    That was one of the problems I had with the movie, “The Passion of the Christ”. It devoted 2.9 hours to the suffering of Christ (which is the least important part) and about 2.9 minutes to the resurrection–the most important part.

  33. Dawgtrooper says:

    The real problem with Christianity, and every other organized religion, is that it depends on people to run it. People are obviously flawed and thus every religion has been used for evil, as well as good, throughout its history.
    The point of “where does virtue come from” is a good one but ultimately unanswerable and unknowable. Saying virtue comes from God without more is basically the same as saying it comes from the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus.
    Three points I raise when I get into these types of conversations with very religious people: 1) Christ’s, I believe, first miracle was turning water into wine at the wedding so where do Baptists and other teetotalers get off condemning alcohol (please spare me the grape juice argument because that is just stupid); 2) why is having doubt a bad thing? Didn’t Thomas demand to put his fingers in Christ’s wounds before he would believe? Hadn’t he been following Christ around for years actually seeing him perform miracles? I think if I followed some guy around for years and saw him walk on water, raise the dead, heal the sick, etc. I’d be convinced. After 2,000 years I don’t think I should be condemned because I have doubts similar to one of his own apostles; and 3) if Christianity is the true religion, where do the Protestants get off leaving the Catholic fold? After all, Catholicism was the religion founded by Peter and Paul. It cracks me up that some of these small churches, in some cases just shy of snake handlers, think that after 2,000 years of interpreting Christianity by the Catholic Church, 50 guys in Macon somehow figured it all out. Well done. Maybe Aquinas should have studied harder. Finally, Hitchens’ book is a good read and more of a polemic against religion in general than against God but anyone really interested in Christianity should read its history by Paul Johnson and its defense by one of its best defenders in C.S. Lewis. That said, Happy Easter.

  34. Roy says:

    But isn’t christianity really a “mind set” that one should try to live? For example, Mother Theresa
    of Calcutta personified Christ actions better than anyone in our time, in my opinion. St Francis of Assisi said to “preach the gospel all the time, and if necessary, use words”. That in its self leads me to beleive it’s more of an actions thing; i.e. how we treat our fellow mankind (and all of God’s creation), and not just
    blowing alot of smoke out our rears.

    Jace, did you get to drink any good red wines from Georgia? Years back, I used to go to the Eastern bloc (E. Berlin, Prague, and Budapest)
    There were no french Bordeux’s in the cafes so I drank a Soviet Georgian red that actually was pretty good, could’ve passed for French!

  35. boyreporter says:

    Regarding the resurrection: Why does it require a belief in magic for a religion to make sense to people? What’s wrong with the Beatitudes and Jesus’ life example being the best outline for a life well lived? Why ritualistic killing (foretold, even), followed by a purported act of Houdini-ism? Could it be because Christianity is far more derivative and ordinary than Christians was to admit, so they add these little show-biz elements? Added, actually, long ago before people had TV and the internet for entertainment.

  36. Dave Bearse says:

    Parts of this thread were personally quite illuminating. I now have greater insight into why I abandoned organized Christianity about the same time I was forced out of the Republican party.

  37. boyreporter says:

    I didn’t abandon Christianity until much later, but I abandoned the Southern Baptist Church when the congregation of my church — on a college campus, even — was torn apart over the issue of allowing black people in. Yes, that was a while back. But it was clear then that it was no place I wanted to be associated with, and I have seen no reason to return in the interim.

  38. boyreporter says:

    Oh…before I forget…I plan to sleep in in the morning, and so will miss the Easter Sunrise Service at former Klan icon Stone Mountain…so would someone please let me know if Jesus sees his shadow? Six more weeks of winter would be a bummer. Thanks in advance.

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