Good Friday

The following is a column written previously for this same day. It’s what I believed then, and it’s what I believe now. May you and yours have a Happy Easter.

Today is Good Friday, beginning the three holiest days of the Christian year.  For those of us who are Christian, it represents everything significant about our faith.  Our creator manifested himself in our image, walked among us for a time, and sacrificed his sinless self so that our debts would be paid, our sins forgiven.

The concept for those of us who believe is hard enough to fully grasp.  For the non-believer, it is virtually impossible, and often the subject of scorn and ridicule. That’s quite understandable, and this column is not an attempt to convert as much as an attempt to explain why this day is important to us, or at least, to me.  It is also done with the belief that I would make a horrible evangelist.  I write as a fellow sinner, well short of sainthood.

“Good Friday” itself presents somewhat of an oxymoron, but the name says much about the optimism inherent in Christianity.  The fact that we could take the public execution of our God and call it good is not about the day itself, but about what came after, and what is yet to come.

Good Friday and the events leading up to it have a powerful message regarding the fallibility of man and our ability to choose our own destiny.  Days before his crucifixion, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of an unridden donkey  with the crowd ready to make him their King.  Days later, they chose a murderer to be released from Prison so that Jesus instead would be killed.  It was perhaps the first indictment of public opinion polls, demonstrating what is popular, what is acceptable, what would be from the force of public will can change on a moment’s notice.  Yet the gift of redemption and forgiveness has lasted with us for over 2,000 years, and counting.

Despite this great failure, we call it Good.  It is good because “It is finished” was not the end, but a beginning.  Brutal torturers and murderers were forgiven because they knew not what they did.  A couple of millenniums later, we receive the same gift.

And so what does this have to do with a political column?  Nothing and everything.  We are a country that was founded on the principle of religious freedom.  Our Government isn’t allowed to tell us what to believe or how to worship, nor to prohibit us from doing so.  How we choose to receive or reject the gift of Easter is entirely up to us.

Yet mixing government and religion is not the same as mixing politics and religion.  The latter two are mixed often, with varying results.  I’ll save my commentaries on that for another day, save to mention that in my earlier political years, I thought mixing the two ran the danger of cheapening my political party.  Today, I fear the mix cheapens my religion.

In my walk through this life, I have found the gift of Easter essential in dealing with personal failures, some public, others private.  It’s a gift we Christians believe is direct to us from our creator.  It’s a message that transcends politics.  It is a power greater than that of any government.

So with that, I wish you a Happy Easter, and a Good Friday.

12 comments

  1. Tyler says:

    Good message. Happy Easter, Charlie.

    “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” -2 Corinthians 5:21

  2. Matt Stout says:

    Wow. Ditto.

    And I never saw this side of you, Charlie!

    I guess on a political blog, this is usually not the topic.

  3. Jawgadude says:

    Just one SMALL problem Charlie… if you really study Hebrew history you’ll discover that Yeshua (Jesus) was actually crucified on Wednesday and resurrected on the Sabbath (Saturday) 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb.

    • As a seminary graduate and a preacher, I have seen a lot of debate over the days/times that Jesus spent in the tomb, the book of Revelation, and other prophecy. To me, these are distracting debates that take away from the teachings of Christ to serve our fellow man and to share the Gospel in love and compassion.

    • Monica says:

      There are just “one SMALL problem”- s with just about every date related to Christianity, most famous perhaps Jesus’ birthday that was perhaps not in December but in August or something. I know the type of people that busy themselves with these things. Believe me friend, none of that has any meaning to followers of Jesus. His teachings and his sacrifice is what matters to us, and while the dates can be interesting to debate, you’re not shocking anybody over the age of 20 with these kind of announcements.

  4. Acts 3:13-15 has always been a powerful summary and testimony to me of the events that Charlie spoke of. The text is of Peter speaking to the Israelites after the lame beggar was healed at the temple.

    13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.
    14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.
    15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

  5. Monica says:

    I’m an immigrant of many years here in US, and I often wondered about this “Good Friday” thing. My homeland is very Christian and we call your it “Great Friday,” the French call it “Holy Friday” and I understand other countries use variation of that, including “Black Friday.” So it’s the English-speaking nations that call it Good (and perhaps others I haven’t heard of), not necessarily Christians overall, as your article appears to suggest. I actually believe it originated from something else, like “God Friday” or the meaning of “good” evolved and could have meant something else as well. Whatever the reason, I actually disagree that there was anything good about it. Jesus suffered immeasurably on that day. If “good” was used because it led to something positive, then we’d just call Sunday – “Good Sunday.” There was nothing good about Friday, it was full of betrayal, suffering and unbearable pain. His words “God, why have you forsaken me,” hunt me on this day because they express so vividly the depth of his despair and pain.

  6. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    “Yet mixing government and religion is not the same as mixing politics and religion. The latter two are mixed often, with varying results. I’ll save my commentaries on that for another day, save to mention that in my earlier political years, I thought mixing the two ran the danger of cheapening my political party. Today, I fear the mix cheapens my religion.”

    …I couldn’t agree more. Happy Easter to you and your family as well, Charlie and to everyone at Peach Pundit, contributors and commentors.

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