Nell Goddard

musings of a clergy child

18 Apr

Good Friday: Forsaken, Finished, Forgiven

I struggle to speak honestly of Good Friday. I struggle because, so often, I long to see it only in the light of Easter Sunday.

And how magnificent it is, to see the darkness overcome by the light. To see death overcome by resurrection. To see sin defeated, and forgiveness prevail.

But if I look at Good Friday solely through the lens of Easter Sunday, I fear that I am missing something. I fear that if I do not sit in the darkness now, I will not fully understand the radiant light which is to come.

But I am scared. I am scared to look at the darkness of Good Friday without thinking of the hope of Easter Sunday. I am terrified to think of the pain of loss without the promise of redemption. I shy away from the uncomfortable reality of death winning, if only for a few days. I struggle to live with the knowledge that, on that first Good Friday, there was utter God-forsakenness.

I'm scared to feel the true agony of Good Friday, because I know, were I to do so, it would come close to ripping me apart. A life without God, without hope, without light, is one of which I dare not speak. The thought of even a moment without God rocks me to my very core. For all the good things in the world are from God. Anything that is good is from God, for God is good. And therefore, without God, there is no good in the world. But it is that on which we must dwell for today.

It is on this day, you see, that true darkness is revealed. True darkness is experienced. The utter depravity of a world without light. Jesus Christ, fully man revealing the fullness of God Himself, hangs on a tree. Naked, and ashamed. Broken, and dying. Forsaken. The man who is Himself God, is ripped apart as He is forsaken. God Himself, cursed by God. A paradox like no other, and one which rips Him apart. Torn right down the middle, as judgement is poured out upon Him. As justice is served... to an innocent man. To God Himself.

The unfairness of it all makes me long to ignore it. It makes me want to fast-forward to Easter Sunday when I can sing 'Thine be the Glory' at the top of my lungs and celebrate Christ's victory over death. But for now, it is finished. It is accomplished. Christ has done what He came to earth to do. He has looked death in the face, and embraced it with his very being. He has taken all the darkness the world could throw at Him, and swallowed it up into Himself. And it has overcome Him. Death and darkness, for now, reign victorious.

And so, in the darkness of Good Friday, we wait. For this day, we remember the darkness. We feel despair, seemingly victorious, revelling in our misery at the broken body of Jesus Christ, hanging on a tree. We hear death, gloating over the defeat of the Son of God. We sit in mourning, in silence and in agony, and we wait, quietly, for the light to dawn.

Nell Goddard

Hi, I’m Alianore. I used to be known as 'Nell Goddard', but then I got married and changed my name. I’m an author, blogger, and speaker. A theologian, on a good day. A Christian, a storyteller, and a friend. I tweet as @alianoree and you can find more of my writings in my first book, 'Musings of a Clergy Child'.