A Good Friday Message from the Dean of Bristol
‘Good’ is an interesting word to use. In Germany this is Grieving Friday, elsewhere it is Holy Friday.
The first Good Friday started earlier than this. It was first light when they brought Jesus before Pilate. Jesus the light of the world was dragged into the dark shadows of the governor’s fortress. Pilate could not see what was before him. Dawn was breaking but darkness fell.
The day started badly and gets worse. Jesus, already betrayed, is beaten, unjustly condemned, crucified and killed. So why then, do we call this day Good?
By the end of the day my Cathedral will be dark and bare of decoration, just like a grave. Jesus went to a grave today because a politician made a bad choice. He was killed because religious people could not let go of their fear and because, in a crowd, people stopped thinking for themselves. That is what killed him: bad choices, fear, thoughtlessness. Not big, dramatic sins notice, just bad choices, fear, thoughtlessness.
It is very ordinary things that mess us up. It is the way we keep doing things and it still kills people in Syria, in Westminster, in South Sudan and elsewhere. Good Friday though, shows us a man who did not give into bad choices, or fear, or thoughtlessness. Light in the darkness, life not death. Just for a moment we saw someone good. Just for a moment we saw love and what we could be. As a friend of mine once put it ‘If you do not love you will not be alive. If you love fully you will be killed’. That is why today is Good Friday.
Posted on 14th April 2017