Good Friday is always a struggle for me. I love Jesus and I am so very thankful for all that he accomplished on the cross. I am glad we take time to remember and recognize his sacrifice. And I am not averse to sad stories and sad songs. In fact, people who know me well, know that my favorite movies, books and songs are the ones that make me cry a bucket of tears before they are through.

So you would think I would be in my glory on Good Friday. But I struggle this day. I think it is because the pain Jesus went through is more than any anguished character in fiction. Jesus wasn’t just living out a tragedy for the sake of a good story. He was defeating my sin. The things that I do wrong, the hurt that I cause in this world, the parts of me that are broken ad dark and horrible – those are the things Jesus faced and healed on the cross. Only – not just for me. For every person who ever lived. The burden is too big to imagine. Too vast to comprehend. And he didn’t deserve any of it – he was spotless, whole, clean.

This subject is so heavy, I can only dwell on it for a certain amount of time. It hurts my heart to think of it, and so once the worship service is over, I move on. Not in order to forget, but because I simply cannot dwell on the subject for too long. It’s too painful

My practice has been to spend Good Friday amongst friends. Today, I stood at the foot of the cross in the morning, and then laughed and cuddled and shared food and a silly movie with my friends and their children. I believe times like this are a gift from God, and I believe that Jesus was our honoured guest as we spent one together today.

Good Friday is a dark day in the Christian calendar. But it is also a good day. Because sin and death and darkness were defeated on this day. Because Jesus chose to love each of us more than his own life. And so every year I come, and I spend time at the foot of the cross, and I remember.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8 NIV

Touching the Cross…

Today, during our Good Friday service, the congregation was invited forward to place a card at the foot of the cross. We were invited to write something for which we need forgiveness on the card, or to leave it blank (because God knows what you are thinking/feeling anyway), or simply to come and touch the cross. It was such a powerful moment. Especially since Rosemary had just preached on the fact that the crucifixion isn’t something that happened 2000 years ago, it is something that happens today. Every time we mistreat each other or turn away from God.

After the service, a comment was made on my Facebook that we ‘truly touched the cross.’ I loved that. It was how I felt, too. That in this act of coming forward, of offering our cards (whether we’d written something on them or not), of laying a hand on the black wooden cross that stood beside the communion table, we’d drawn close to the cross of Christ.

Personally, what I found there, was beautiful. It was a moment of sadness, and yet joy. Of loneliness, and yet community. Of understanding the shame of my sin, and yet finding forgiveness and acceptance in Christ.


On the cross…


At choir we have begun practicing the music for holy week. One of the songs we are working on is called “Here on the Cross” and includes the lyrics: Sorrow and gladness meet, evil has met defeat, salvation is complete, here on the cross.”

It strikes me that this is a concise and yet poetic description of what we as followers of Jesus believe about the cross.

As so many things with God, there are layers to the cross. There is sorrow, but also gladness. What looks like defeat is actually triumph and what seems tragic is actually the foundation of our hope.

When I was a kid – probably starting around age 12 – I had a tradition of reading the crucifixion accounts in the Gospels on Good Friday. It always made me weep. As I have grown up, I find that though I still feel deeply the grief of what my sin cost Jesus, I also have a more complicated reaction to the cross.

As the song says, sorrow and gladness meet.