Good Friday: Celebration of the Lord’s Passion
(Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Hebrews 4:14-16.5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42)
In 1804 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led a select group of men across the western half of the American continent. They explored for the United States government the territory newly purchased from France. They also established relations with the indigenous peoples of the Northwest. And they contributed to scientific knowledge by obtaining specimens of the flora and fauna of the vast region. The Lewis and Clark Expedition, as it has since been called, was one of the most successful missions in American history. The Passion according to John, which we read every Good Friday, completes the story of an even greater mission.
Hanging on the cross, Jesus’ final words are, “It is finished.” He is referring to the mission on which his Father sent him. He brought light to a world of darkness by revealing the depth of God’s love. His teaching enlightened the peoples’ minds. His cures reinforced their fledging faith. In the end he allowed himself to be slaughtered as a sacrifice for their sins. His mission reestablished the cosmic order that was so disoriented by human pride and covetousness.
Today we can only marvel at God’s love. Tomorrow we will go forth to imitate that love in every aspect of our lives. But today we cry in repentance, utter prayers of thankfulness, and pledge ourselves unreservedly. God has set us free. We owe Him everything we have and are.