Good Friday (Day 46)

I asked Siri to explain what Good Friday means – the Friday before Easter Sunday, on which the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ is commemorated in the Christian Church.

And as it has been asked before what good is there in a day of crucifixion? This horrific day, which was like no other day that has ever been nor will ever be, brought a stamp for a believer’s passport, REDEEMED!

I share with you part of Chapter 8 from Almost Empty, An Inside Look at the Passion Week by Stephen Davey entitled, Death by Crucifixion:  

Chapter 8, Death By Crucifixion

Mel Gibson’s 2004 film, “The Passion of the Christ,” broke box office records worldwide. The film is a depiction of Christ’s last hours—His betrayal, conviction, scourging, and crucifixion. What made the film so controversial was that unlike any other film of Jesus’ life ever made, it did not downplay the violence heaped upon Jesus as He was bearing the sins of the world. In fact, many complained that the film was too violent and too bloody. Listen to what one New York Times reviewer had to say about it:

“The Passion of the Christ” is so relentlessly focused on the savagery of Jesus’ final hours that this film seems to arise less from love than from wrath, and to succeed more in assaulting the spirit than in uplifting it. Mr. Gibson has constructed an unnerving and painful spectacle.

(He) has departed radically from the tone and spirit of earlier American movies about Jesus, which have tended to be palatable (if often extremely long) Sunday school homilies designed to soothe the audience rather than to terrify or inflame it.

By rubbing our faces in the grisly reality of Jesus’ death and fixing our eyes on every welt and gash on his body, this film means to make literal an event that the Gospels often treat with circumspection and that tends to be thought about somewhat abstractly. Look, the movie seems to insist, when we say He died for our sins, this is what we mean.

I have not seen the film, but I wonder what those who actually viewed Christ’s crucifixion would say about it. Would they think it was too violent or too bloody? Would they insist that the crucifixion be treated “with circumspection” and “thought about somewhat abstractly?” I don’t believe so.

You see, the crucifixion of Christ was an “unnerving and painful” event. It should “assault the spirit” and “terrify” the audience, since it was the visible display of God’s holy wrath against sin and sinners. Often however, we don’t react with terror. Instead, we have no reaction at all.

Kent Hughes wrote,

It is easy to discuss the cross of Christ in a disinterested way . . . to think about it and then to forget about it. The trouble is, we are desensitized by daily scenes of real violence . . . bloodshed and murder no longer have the power to move us. So also, the death of Christ on the cross has become so much a part of our religious upbringing that we no longer really notice it, much less are we moved by it.

My prayer is that the Spirit of God will give us eyes to see afresh the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. –Davey

Amen, Pastor Davey!

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