After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfil the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
I’m resting in the paradoxes of Good Friday…tragic and good, forsakenness and salvation, brokenness and wholeness, death and life, judgment and grace, rejection and redemption…and finishing and beginning.
It is finished. Death doesn’t finish us. In Jesus Christ, it is only the beginning.
From Henri Nouwen’s devotional “Renewed for Life” on Good Friday:
…Good Friday is much more than reliving the passion of Jesus; it is entering into solidarity with the passion of all people of our planet…In Jesus all human suffering is collected. The broken heart of Jesus is the broken heart of God. The broken heart of God is the broken heart of the world.
From Karl Barth’s Selected Prayers – Good Friday:
O Lord, our God: We have gathered this day in order to consider how Thou didst carry out Thy good and strong will for the world and for us all by letting our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, become captive that we might become free, by letting Him be judged guilty that we might be innocent, by letting Him suffer that we might have joy, by giving Him up to death so that we might live eternally.
Of ourselves we can only go astray. And we have not deserved such deliverance, not one of us. But in the inconceivable greatness of Thy mercy Thou has shared our sin and our misery in order to do such great things for us. How else should we thank Thee except by comprehending, laying on this great deed, and letting it hold say? Yet how can that happen unless the same living Savior, who for us suffered was crucified, dead, and buried but now is risen, come Himself into our midst, Speak to our hearts and consciences, open us to Thy love, lead us on to entrust ourselves entirely to is, and to live from this love and from it alone. In all humility but also in all confidence we beseech Thee to grant this through the power of Thy Holy Spirit. Amen
“What is finished? The Law is fulfilled as never before, nor since, in His “obedience unto death, even the death of the cross”; Messianic prophecy is accomplished; Redemption is completed; “He hath finished the transgression, and made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness, and sealed up the vision and prophecy, and anointed a holy of holies”; He has inaugurated the kingdom of God and given birth to a new world.”
Again, from Mama:Monk who has been feeding me this week:
A Continuation of the lorica (St. Patrick’s Breastplate prayer)
Christ’s Cross over this face, and thus over my ear. Christ’s Cross over these eyes…this mouth…this throat…the back of this head…this side…to accompany before me…to accompany behind me…Christ’s cross to meet every difficulty both on hollow and on hill…Christ’s Cross over my community. Christ’s Cross over my church. Christ’s Cross in the next world. Christ’s Cross in this world.
-From The Celtic Way of Prayer by Esther de Waal (155)
Finally, love this from Maryann McKibben Dana at The Blue Room today (read the full post there):
…Now, today, there is only this -
each of us,
all of us,
sitting in the darkness,
the hymns of lament in the air,
the mumblings of our own feeble confession,
on this Friday
which we tremble to call Good.
What is good about Good Friday?
What is good about the innocent one nailed to a cross?
What is good about the darkness of war that persists today?
What is good about our devastation of the planet?
… about people living in poverty?
… about the fog of addiction, depression, disease and despair?
What is good about the crushing weight of hunger, racism, scapegoating, apathy?
No, there is nothing good and desirable in these things.
Yet you, O God, are Good…
[Image from here.]