Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday: The Passion of the Lord

"The LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all." For many of us, today is just one big guilt trip. The day of doom-and-gloom that we must endure before we can have Sunday's joy. But what if today is one of joy as well? My favorite gospel adaptation is the movie "Judas", which tells the story of Jesus from the title character's perspective. It ends with an untraditional sort of resurrection scene. Peter, Andrew, and James arrive at the tree where Judas is still hanging after having committed suicide. James grumpily questions why they are doing this, coming to minister to the one who betrayed their master. Peter's response is one of the best summaries of the gospel ever written, "Because Jesus would've wanted us to." So they cut down their friend and pray the Kaddish over his body. Radical love; that is what the cross gives us, and that is worthy of rejoicing, not guilt. God does not want to scold us today, they want us to stand up for our siblings, all of them. "So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help." Amen.