Because life is a series of edits

Good Friday

In Thought on April 14, 2006 at 9:54 am

From a recent bookstore promotional email:

“Easter is a gateway to spring’s splendor – a time to pack away your sweaters, open the house to afternoon breezes, and dream about the possibilities of the season ahead.”

From Matthew 26:27:

“Then he (Pilate) released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.”

Thinking of the two statements above, Learner says he finds it interesting how differently we think of Easter these days. Of course, the two sentences are not mutually exclusive (indeed, he and Mrs. Learner have packed away their sweaters and enjoy an afternoon breeze as much as the next person), but he’s uncomfortable with how comfortable he and the rest of our culture (and often the Church) can be in thinking about Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

Tonight, he and Mrs. Leearner are planning to watch The Passion of the Christ for the first time. Apparently, they’ve owned the movie since it came out in 2004, but Learner has not had the courage to ever watch it. Being a little squeamish in general (any kind of television surgery – real or representative – freaks him out), he never felt up to witnessing the brutality of crucifixion in detail. But he says it’s more than not wanting to watch graphic physical torture that has kept him from viewing the movie these past several years. And, it’s not (only) because at the time of the movie’s release, everyone and their dog went to see the movie and he didn’t for the principle of it.

No, more than squeamishness or self-righteousness, Learner says the thought that “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16) has always been his stumbling block. He’s part of this world that God loves. And that makes him part of why Jesus was crucified.

So tonight, he’ll watch. And it will be extremely difficult, he says, but not just because an actor depicting Jesus will appear to be physically tortured. Rather, the difficulty according to Learner will be in realizing anew that Christ’s crucifixion (one of the most documented historical facts in all of antiquity) was for the sin of the world, which (thankfully, mercifully) includes all of his.

The celebration of life at Easter time goes beyond the fact the calendar says it’s Spring. Friday’s here…but Sunday’s a’comin’…

Happy Easter.


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