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Reflections on Good Friday
An Artist's Depiction of Jesus
Heinrich Hoffman's Depiction of what Jesus might have looked like
Art with Religious Understone
Good Friday - Not Your Ordinary Thoughts
Good Friday is a particularly important date to think on things that are important, like life and death and the purpose of our lives here on earth. This will not be your ordinary reading about Good Friday.
Jesus Christ comes to mind when I hear the words, "good and Friday" used together. I caught myself saying to my son this morning, "don't forget this was Jesus' tough day." He smiled and said, "oh yeah." When you really think about it though, saying it was a tough day for Jesus would be such an understatement.
I know so many don't believe and think like I do, and I am OK with that, and respect everyone's right to think and believe however they wish. I am for freedom for all people everywhere. This is partly why I love Jesus Christ and his message for humanity. I think it leads to freedom and a better life for all, rightly understood and practiced. That is hard to do of course! Trying to do it though, makes for a better life for people and those around them very often.
I am speaking of things like being kind, loving each other, and even enemies which would prevent so much needless pain and ongoing troubles. Giving so others can benefit in some way. Someone might say, "this can be done by anyone." That is true, and I am saying that this is defended and taught by Jesus as well, and if followed makes for a great philosophy on life. He also didn't force his beliefs on anyone, and kept moving on when a person or people didn't want to hear from him or his message. That is a lesson that could be learned by many! No need to force things. To share though, yes.
Thankful that Jesus laid down His own Life
I think Jesus came to bring truth to all mankind forever more. I think that if there is a God, and that Jesus was really his son, then things would look just how they do now, and then, and throughout history. That might be bold to say, but it does makes sense in light of everything, when many other things do not make sense of so much.
In short, this Good Friday is a time to remember the death of Jesus on a cross, for the sins of humanity. For sins of the past, present and future for those that acknowledge they are not perfect, and sorry for making bad decisions. That is not true of everyone by the way, some are simply not sorry for breaking any moral code. With what Christ taught, he gives the impression this won't be for everyone. Why would a God force that onto people that truly might not want it? The once and for all sacrifice of Jesus is sufficient to pay the penalty for our sins. He is the one that could do it, the one that could get it all "done." This is so incredibly important for life and freedom for humanity.
In the mean time, there is an ongoing battle going on that pretty much everyone senses in this world, that being the battle of good and evil. You can't turn on the news anymore and miss this glaringly obvious point, or when you are reading a history book. The idea of good and evil is an ongoing theme in our favorite novels, movies, art and music. Often, the battle is portrayed as good conquering a very great evil, by a very unlikely "good guy." This moral theme is part of who we are, and I think it is for a reason. We esteem it, and many love those stories the best. I am speaking of people from all religions and worldviews here. We love to see evil get "stomped hard," so to speak.
Think about this. Very often, the plots of some of the best movies show a person or group of people that against all odds or with seemingly impossible scenarios, still somehow pull off the doing away with the greatest evils. What gives us deep hope, more than this? Those are the kinds of heroes everyone wants, it seems so often. I truly think there is a reason that movies from people of all worldviews and religions keep on having this recurring theme in them, and why people spend time and money to see them. I think it echoes a reality that is undeniable. Who doesn't love it when a little brave kid in a movie finally stands up to the school yard bully, and wins? These are the things that bring the biggest "applause" and deep sense of happiness and hope played out in various forms.
This idea is echoed in what is often considered newsworthy, or what kids and adults hope to be and why as they grow up or in their future down the road. It is why many give to worthy causes even when they don't have much to give.
The reason is that we seem to inherently know that the greatest good can conquer the greatest evils in this world, when nothing else can.
Now, we bring this back around to Good Friday and Jesus of Nazareth. I think that might be exactly what is going on there, on a cosmic, and eternal level with humanity. It also explains why we are still talking about a carpenter from little Nazareth over two thousand years ago that died a criminal's death.
Now, as with the movies and stories and the dramas we love, evil does it biggest work when deceiving people involved, and distorting the truth to make it look like something it is not. Most people world over, don't usually want true evil to get the upper hand in life situations. That would be a robber of our freedoms, like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So, something truly evil disguises as good, because the "good" is always more attractive. Likewise, something truly evil loves to demonize a good thing and make it look very bad.
I only share all of this to get people thinking that care to think about the greatest matters to us all. IF Jesus was right, there sure is a lot at stake for each of us. If he was wrong, and people follow him and his philosophy on life as shared in the gospels, then nothing still is lost. Even if you were just a little nicer and giving than you had been previously, or helped others more, who regrets that at the end of their life? Jesus had some great ideas like loving your neighbor as yourself, loving even your enemies, and praying for others. Taking care of the widows and orphans, working hard, and giving thanks, etc.
So today on this Good Friday that wasn't so great for Jesus long ago, I am thankful for how he laid down his life, to conquer the greatest evil which is sin and the effects of that sin on humanity. It is kind of ironic that people want to not die, and live a peaceful, free and happy life. That was what God wanted for us also but allowed for freedom to choose and reject or disobey needed to be in the mix also. Jesus made a way to get back to that original design for humanity by its creator. That was exactly how life seems to have been meant to be for us all. To live free, be and stay alive, happy, and fulfilled, and so much more that our minds and hearts cannot begin to fathom.
This all happened when people weren't even seeking goodness and God. This was God's way to breach what was lost between he and his creation for those that might want that with him. If nothing else, never stop thinking about what you observe and what would explain those things.
Life is precious and flying by, make time to think about what really matters. Happy Easter, Resurrection Sunday, and or Happy Spring to all that celebrate any of these things.
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