Good Friday

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.

 

Condemned, humiliated, tortured, and forsaken, Jesus plumbs the depths of human suffering and death.  Within God’s own life, there is grief beyond measure as Jesus cries out to the one he has called “Abba”; the Sending One is silent in anguish; the Spirit breathes with him the last gasp of life, seeking to preserve the unity of the Triune God.

 

 

Soldiers gamble for his clothes, people pass by “wagging their heads in derision,” some disciples flee from the horrific scene, and a few faithful ones, primarily women, linger as they observe his ignominious end. And he dies.

 

Bouguereau, William-Adolphe (1825-1905). Compassion, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.

 

Few of us have words to explain all that occurred in the complex event of the cross, but as Christians we confess that it radically changed the hopes of humanity.  Yet, on that Friday, the light of the world has been extinguished, hope dies, and friends hasten to bury his torn body in a borrowed tomb.  There was no time to anoint the body properly as Sabbath was hastening.

 

Ciseri, Antonio, 1821-1891. Transport of Christ to the tomb, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.

 

Fearing reprisals, his followers went into hiding and waited.  As the shadows fall across our hearts as we observe this day, we wait, also.

Molly T. Marshall