Short Thoughts on Good Friday

Short Thoughts on Good Friday March 27, 2024

“It is finished.” – John 19:30

Jesus spoke these three words before he breathed his last breath, before death became final. And I don’t know about you, but there comes with these words a release, a catch, a hiccup in the back of your throat – it’s over, done, complete. The weight of death is made real in a moment when we’re caught in between feeling the memory of what was and the reality of what is.  

The finished “it” Jesus spoke of had to do with forgiveness. That separation between humans and God? Over. The sin that kept us from experiencing God’s love? It is no longer a barrier, but it is finished – and because it is finished, we have been forgiven. We are forgiven. As it goes, we humans live and lean into forgiveness, because this is who we are.

Forgiven has become our identity, the marker of our humanity. 

But in this moment, we who sit on the sidelines of death – beside the hospital bed, prostrate in the hospice chair, kneeled on rocky soil at the foot of the cross – feel the catch and release of breath, of breath that is still ours, that is not is his, hers, theirs anymore. This breathing and this living we still do does not exactly feel like a fair trade, not when sadness is the only song we sing. They say we will not always be marked by sadness, that joy will come in the morning, that hope will become the badge we wear.

Right now, the weigh scales tip toward grief. Right now, even relief accompanies the finality of death, even if this death changes it all, we do not yet know hope, for hope is not something we can hold right now.

Hope is not yet a part of our vocabulary.

I suppose this is the already but not yet part of the Christian faith. Already, Christ has died – but not yet has he risen. Already, Christ has died – but not yet do we feel a release, that the weight of forgiveness has been lifted off our shoulders yet. Already, Christ has died – but not yet do we feel free.

As it goes, we do the only thing we can do: we lean into the pain of the already but not yet. We let ourselves feel the heaviness of this hour, when we too feel like we are at the end of our rope. The blanket has been pulled over the body, but we cannot yet leave the hospital room.

Entangled by the reality of the end, we’re found wondering if beginning will ever come again.

"Hey Adam, sorry I'm just seeing this now! Yup, manuscript's due this coming week. ALL ..."

12 books that will find a ..."
"Blood From a Stone wheeeee!! Also, congrats on the book deal. Much joy and misery ..."

12 books that will find a ..."
"Any attempt to answer that question goes quickly into infinite regression.An additional, related mystery is ..."

Who Created God?

Browse Our Archives