April 2, 2021

When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)

There’s a middle ground I’ve been trying to find on Good Friday these past few years. I’m pulled between the necessity of allowing Good Friday to be Good Friday. Of not looking ahead to Easter. Of remaining here on this day in the somber truth of our Lord’s death. Of this being the one day when we don’t preach the resurrection, realizing that we need a faith that can speak to the happy moments and the sad moments in life. Of this day being when we focus on the brutal truth of death that hangs on the cross revealing the brokenness of our world that is in desperate need of a savior.

On the other hand, I still recognize the other truth that even on this day of death and sadness, this day when we read how the sins of the world killed Jesus, that sin and death could never have the final word as long as God is God. That the powers of the world want death to only mean death, but the world does not get the final word. The power of Jesus’ cross is ultimately a life giving one.

Perhaps our task today is to let Jesus be dead. Let Good Friday be Good Friday, but also let us take that ineffable Spirit of Jesus, which he gave up, with us in our hearts today. Perhaps this spirit is hope that tomorrow will be a better day. Perhaps Christ’s spirit is the memories of Jesus’ past earthly life of love and ministry and friendship. Perhaps his spirit is one small flame, a reminder that even though Jesus is dead, we always have the opportunity to carry him with us in our lives, every day, and especially this one, as we watch and wait for what is to come.

Peace in Christ,

Pr. Dan Joyner Miller