Good Friday

Body being loaded onto refrigerator truck

We all wish the times were different. Many of us are missing the comforts of sharing our rituals and traditions with others. But if you're actually mad that you can't gather for Holy Week services, let me gently suggest that you're missing the point of Holy Week. And, if you're opening your church doors and inviting people to gather, I would go as far as to say that you aren't just missing the point, you are negating it altogether.

Crucifixion painting by Anthony van Dyck circa 1622

As I wrote my new book, Introducing the New Testament, one thing became increasingly clear to me.   As I wrote about Jesus the man, Jesus the Jewish rabbi, and Jesus the Christ I realized that although we Christians revere Jesus as the Christ and learn to live our lives through the teaching of Jesus the rabbi, we sing songs like "Oh, How I Love Jesus" because of Jesus the man.  And that emotion is thoroughly rooted in Good Friday.

While Good Friday church attendance makes clear that most people would like to avoid the dark and horror of crucifixion and go straight to the Hallelujah's of Easter morning, we don't, in the end, love Jesus becaues he was resurrected.  We love Jesus because he died.