Thursday, April 13, 2006

"Good Riddance, Jesus Is Dead"-Meaning Of The Term "Good Friday"

The term "Good Friday" seems to be confusing, considering that it marks the observance of Jesus' death. Intuitively, you would ask yourself, "what's good about someone dying?" It's my understanding that the term "good" has origins close to the word "holy," so in this context the proper name is "Holy Friday." To take another twist on this event, it seems that for many Christians, Good Friday means, "it's a good thing Jesus is dead, because now we don't have to listen to Him."

We live in a culture that worships the idols of material gain, power, popularity, comfort, and selfish ambition. This stands in contrast to the teachings of Jesus, which were to love one's neighbour, defend the powerless, care about the outcast, and self-sacrifice. Many Christians have bought into a theology that has been fitted to suit this very culture. The self-contradictory logic behind this theology is that we are all filthy sinners who all need salvation from God or else we go to Hell, we cannot clean this filth ourselves, yet God also loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die on a cross to wash away our sins, yet only those who believe this will be spared. The main thing is to accept Jesus as your Saviour, so that you'll spend an eternity in Heaven, which is the goal. This despite Jesus never having said, "accept me as your personal Saviour," or the fact that Jesus' primary concern was more life in this world than in the next. It keeps Jesus in the 3 places that these Christians like to keep Him: the manger, the cross, and the sky. From these places, Jesus doesn't speak to us, and His words don't have any impact on us at all. Placing Him there also allows people to ignore those aspects of His message that make them uncomfortable, they believe that they're all going to Heaven automatically anyways, and that their actions and how they live their lives are of little consequence.

What does the holiday ultimately mean? Good Friday marks Jesus' death, to remind us of those times when hope is absent, the darkness of the world having fallen to pieces, and when God seems absent from the world. Yet, this is not how the story ends. The story ends with the Resurrection of Jesus. This means that Jesus is alive, and that He continues to speak to people and be present in the world, and that in spite of the difficulties that come with it, it provides Christians with the strenght and courage to work towards the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus often talked about.


At 11:33 PM, Blogger Darren Irvine said...

Hi Dustin,

I don't know what the origin of the term "Good Friday" is and so I would be going out on a limb to say it is necessarily a sound name. But I do offer what I have thought to myself of it's meaning: that Jesus did something good when he died for the sins of the world. Of course, the fact that he died for the sins of the world implies that those sins were bad and needed to be dealt with (John 1:29; Matthew 1:21).

I agree with part of what you are saying (I think). I think there is a disparity between what Jesus said and what much of "Christendom" practices. This is no surprise when we consider passages such as Matthew 7:13-27.

Are you suggesting that belief in Jesus - including his death, burial, resurrection - is not "all that important"? (Cf. 1 Cor 15:1-7) Or perhaps you are concerned more about the repeat-after-me-sinner's-prayer approach (and variations) to evangelism that is often used in modern evangelicalism?

(I only just found your blog less than an hour ago and couldn't resist commenting on this one.)


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