Jesus was scared.
My daughter’s friend asked me, “Why is it Good Friday if Jesus died? That seems bad to me.”
Jesus in the garden, weeping. Night dew on the grass chilling his feet. Alone. Pouring out his heart to heaven, “Is there any other way?” He is willing, yes. Resolute, even. But he is not placid in the face of his death. He is scared, his humanity on full display in the garden. It is our good, not his. Good Friday carries the name because the darkness of Jesus’ death is our ultimate light…and our liberation comes at a heavy price. The God-Man, broken for us.
See God, watching his Son. God the Father. A father will do anything in his power to rescue his child – it is the nature of Love to intervene, not to abandon. But Jesus is abandoned by his Father. Where is the Love in that? Could there be a broader design, a deeper Love, than that of a father for a son? Could it be that God so loved the world that he gave his only Son up to death, that whoever would believe in Him would be saved? The Father turns his back, breaking his own heart … for us. Good Friday. This is part of the sacred significance of our communion, our Eucharist. Not only the Body broken and the Blood shed, but the Heart broken; the very heart of God, split in two, torn for our redemption.
And now the Church sits in the darkness of Good Friday. Gathered at the macabre table of Body and Blood, and the broken Heart. Do we dare to come and feast? Are any of us worthy of this beautiful sacrifice? In humility we sit in dim sanctuaries and acknowledge that we are not. That there is no reason the blood of God should be spilt for us. But there it is, in the cup, in the bread…irrational Good. Unreasonable Love. So we take the cup, and the bread, our celebration muted by the knowledge that there is a mystery there too wonderful for us… yet it is for us. And we wait.
Because Sunday is coming.