02 April 2010

Holy Week 5: Good Friday

Good Friday's name seems like a bit of a misnomer. How can Jesus' death be good?

He was convicted of stirring up rebellion in a show trial. In fact, it wasn't even that- it was done "in camera" at night and with a bunch of bribed witnesses.

Then he was subjected to the most agonising form of execution imaginable, a humiliating barbaric punishment that often took days to kill its victims. The Roman Empire did not allow it be used on Roman citizens (a status held by a minority of Roman people, although Paul held it).

Jesus died in three hours, but those hours would be agonising to watch (especially for his mother), let alone actually experience.

However, it wasn't the action, but the result. Jesus opened the way to heaven for us sinners. Only the shedding of blood could ensure forgiveness in Jewish tradition- and God's son was the ultimate blood price.

That's why we call this Friday "Good".

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