QUESTIONS FOR JESUS ON GOOD FRIDAY

Which hurt more, the whip, the nails, the public ridicule or the fact that Peter denied you?  I think I know the answer.

Father, forgive them–Really, because that is a little hard to swallow?

Why did you use a Persian loan word to describe heaven to the thief, because, honestly, that kinda freaks me out?

Was Pilate sympathetic or a jackass?  I can’t really tell from the Scriptures and I need to know.

Why were your female followers braver than your male followers?

Had you met Joseph of Arimathea before–not in the way that God meets everyone but in the way that you in your humanity you might have sat and chatted with him ahead of time about what to do with your body?

As they gambled for your clothes, did you think about Judas or did you think about me?

In the courtyard, when they were whipping you, how did you keep from calling them each by name and scolding them?

When they pushed the crown of “thorns” upon your sweaty “brow” did you reflect on Adam and Eve and remember a better day?

Why did it have to be a cross?  I mean, if death for atonement is all that was needed, wouldn’t a quick thrust from a Roman short sword through the neck been just as effective?

Can you help me reconcile my own emotions on this–because I’m glad you did it, but at the same time I hate that you did it?

Do you think Satan really thought he had won, or did he know what was coming in a couple of days?

This is a hard question, especially to ask of God, but I still wonder it so here goes:  Do you ever regret it?  I ask because I’m not sure we’re worth it.

HOLY WEEK REFLECTION

Yesterday in our Palm Sunday service my oldest daughter performed a monologue I wrote.  She did such a wonderful job with it.    The piece is a reflection of Holy Week based on the Gospel of John.  The Fourth Gospel is the one I’ve been working through during Lent and will also spend time with on Easter and afterward.  I thought I would post it here as many of us work this week to stay focused on the sacred time we are engaged in. 

For three years Jesus had tried to tell people about how to be spiritually healthy.  He had used metaphor after metaphor after metaphor.  “It’s like being born again,” he’d told the old religious leader.  “Are you thirsty?  It’s like drinking water” he told a marginalized woman in a male dominated world.  “Can you imagine eating food that came from God?  That’s exactly what it is like,” he told people in a synagogue.  “It’s like you were blind, but suddenly you see.  It’s like sheep that follow the one Good Shepherd.”

He tried every analogy known to man and God:  Wind, fruit, trees, servants, you name it—he tried it.  But the people still were not able to put their mind around what he was talking about.  He so badly wanted them to get it, but they hadn’t just yet.

Standing outside of Jerusalem he knows time is just about up.  The fullness of time ticked his whole life and now the tocks are louder as his hour is at hand.  His mission on planet earth was not only to teach the ways of God and of spiritual truth, but to embody spiritual truth.  The biggest part of that spiritual truth is sacrifice and atonement. The time for him to die at the hands of religious people and politicians is here.  They would not take his life.  He would give it.

Soon the water would be bloody.  Talk of being born again would become, “It is finished.”  The food from God would mutate into vinegar on a sponge and the taste of a bleeding, battered jaw.  The one who opened the eyes of the blind will now have his eyes beat swollen shut.  The good shepherd will, like sheep, be led to the slaughter.  No more talk of luscious fruit bearing trees; soon only the tree of pain would matter.  The only fruit now is oozing from underneath a thorny crown.

But the wind, the wind still blows.  It blows across Jesus face as he gazes at Jerusalem.  It blows through the Temple courtyard and down the crowded streets of the city at Passover.  It blows in the coming day—through a window in the upper room, in Pilate’s tussled hair, across Jesus hanging body, and in the midst of a tomb.  The wind blows and the Spirit of God descends upon his people and finally, slowly, they begin to understand and know what Jesus had been talking about all that time.