Today, for the Christian, represents one of the most beautiful ugly violent days in human history: ‘Good Friday’. When, as a child, I first heard that today was called “Good,” and then I found out what it was that we Christians were “celebrating;” I must admit, I really didn’t understand what was so good about it! In fact, I would imagine, on the face of it, non-Christians look at today with bewilderment. I mean what’s so ‘Good’ about the death of our leader? Buddhists, Muslims, Civil Rights movements, et. al. despair (and rightly so) when their “leader” dies. Not just them, but even Christ’s disciples despaired; remember they went and hid behind locked doors, and some of them walked on a particular road thinking it was all over (because Jesus was dead).
What I failed, initially (as a child), to realize was that Saturday (‘Holy’) and Sunday were still coming. ‘Holy Saturday’ representing that in between time where all of reality was waiting in suspension; waiting to be released from the futility and ‘cursedness’ and ‘blackness’ of sin it had been subjected to ‘unwillingly’. A time of cavernous withdrawl where it seems that all hope may have just been lost, and death had just claimed another ‘victim’. But not so fast, then there was Sunday morning . . . indeed the suspense is broken, the wait is over! Christ resurrected, and the shame and blackness of Friday (and even Saturday) were given their proper light — their substance. Sunday is what makes Friday ‘Good’. This is what I came to realize as a young child, and thus I cherish this day!!
Even though we understand this ‘dramatic irony’ (since we know about Sunday), I think it is okay and prudent to enter into the narrative flow of this unfolding story; and be somber on this day. Thinking, like the disciples, “oh no, now what?” Feeling the weight of “nothingness” that hangs over us this day, and into tomorrow; contemplating “what if” today was it? We have indeed entered the “hour of darkness” . . .