torn

2 04 2010

Today the world is destroyed. Destruction, before reconstruction. Tearing down, before building up. Razed, before renewed.

Today, Good Friday, is about Jesus. It is about his extreme aloneness. His abandonment.  It is about Jesus and his being God who is killed. Dead. It is about a death with such cosmic repercussions we have misunderstood it for centuries. And always will.

But the bits we grasp we must hold to. That Jesus death tore the Temple curtain in two. That the holy of holies, the very presence of God, is not the preserve of the priests, the powerful, the pretentious, the pretenders. That there are no longer segregations for the rich and poor, male and female, weak and strong, literate and illiterate, in and out.

The curtain is torn. The curtain is torn! Haberdashery dashed, the curtain curtailed. Access is free. Jesus has paid.

As I write this on Good Friday, Jesus is still dead. The curtain is torn. The earth is dark. And no-one knows why. In hindsight we know that the world as we know it is being destroyed, that it may be renewed. Destruction, before reconstruction. It does not need to be destroyed again. We don’t await rapture, but renewal. Because once sin and death are destroyed, there is only life and beauty and love and something like how it all began at Eden.

But we don’t know that yet. So let’s leave the curtain perilously on the floor, peer into the darkness, and see what happens.

torn

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7 responses

2 04 2010
Jez

I don’t know about today being all about destruciton and death. Obviously that has a big part but i reckon there has got to be celebration involved as He died for us so we could be free and forgiven.

2 04 2010
Kevin

Absolutely there is celebration! But not yet, not if we allow ourselves to truly get into the story. Now, the disciples are heartbroken, dazed, confused. Now, all is lost, the last 3 years gone, wasted, their great promise unfulfilled. Jesus is dead. He is not the Messiah. Or if he is, he has failed. God’s great plan of incarnation has failed.

We must not jump to celebration too soon. We must appreciate the despair of Good Friday and the pit of Easter Saturday. As Rob Bell has said, we must appreciate the deadness of things that we may fully appreciate life.

2 04 2010
SGR

I think you both make very good points. It is only by Christ’s death that we are freed from the penalty of sin (justification) so that we can be free and forgiven, but it is not until his resurrection on Easter Sunday that death is proved to be utterly defeated and conquered by him. Jesus’ death and resurrection are inextricably linked (1 Corinthians 15 is pretty awesome on this subject, particularly the quote “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”)

I guess there’s a lot of value in not jumping straight ahead, but instead considering what it must have been like for the disciples on Good Friday. Later, when Jesus appears to the disciples, his disciples are in despair having had all their hopes about the Messiah dashed: they are terrified of persecution and behind locked doors (John 20 v 26)

3 04 2010
Fran

I think the hollowness of EasterSaturday promotes the very deep encounter that Jesus has with human suffering and gives weight to his promise of God understanding the suffering of human kind. He gets it. He knows how it feels to loose someone, to grieve, to want, to encounter the question ‘why me’, and still keep on going through. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound……

3 04 2010
Jez

I completely agree we do need to appreciate the loss and tragedy of Good Friday, but i still think that there is cause for celebration that He gave his life for us, after all we now why it happened. We do definitely need to see the loss that would have been felt by all those who were close to Jesus at the time though.

5 04 2010
carol

The times I remember with gratitude, are not the times of celebration (great though they were), but the times when another walked with me through the isolating agony of pain and loss and failure.

Good Friday is the evidence that God understands…and some!!!

5 04 2010
Kevin

And here in the midst of this discussion lie one of the great tensions of our faith! We all over-emphasize something, it is impossible to be completely balanced and therefore entirely right. So, do we over-emphasize the cross, or the resurrection; Friday, or Sunday; sin, or grace? Many evangelicals can tend to get stuck at the cross and never move to the resurrection; I think I lean more towards the resurrection… But at Easter at least, Friday and Saturday are worth waiting at.

And now… Resurrection!

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