The good news for the day April 14, 2017
Good Friday (40)
…The higher-ranking religious answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” Then Pontius Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified. They took Jesus, who—carrying the cross himself—went out to what is called the Skull-Place (Hebrew, Golgotha). There they crucified him; two others were with him, one on each side, Jesus in the middle. Pilate had an inscription written and attached to the cross. It read, “Jesus from Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Now many of the Jews read this inscription—the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city—and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. The highest ranking religious of the Jews complained to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he claimed: ‘I am the King of the Jews’.” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” (from John 18-19)
What is done to Jesus here—hewed Him—carved Him down to His character. The suffering that happens to you can do the same for you.
At your core, when Pain and Betrayals, Grief and Loneliness, Defenselessness and Helplessness, Hunger and Thirst, Religion Itself and Political evil—and a sense of failure to change people—feeling forsaken by every other person including your Father—when all of this is part of your life—what is Left? To love anyway. To forgive. To have compassion, as you are (their) “king”—the standard, the example, the ones that onlookers will look up to.
You feel bad—buffeted by your world, depressed and exhausted. The victory, the triumph—the glorification—is that you yourself have faith—not in you yourself or your success—but in the Mystery of God. You believe that in this darkness—in this Black Hole—a new life is bursting forth, something startling and mysterious is breaking through to remind not only that “it is not over,” but in fact, the new Life is about to begin. Three days from now, God will have raised you from this trough, this burial of whatever sort under whatever dirt has happened to cover you over. With faith, you see a brighter, different future.