April 16, 2017

Risen, INDEED!

I've been writing this blog for seven years. I've done a few Easter posts but this one I wrote for GUY'S GOTTA TALK ABOUT BREAST CANCER was good -- not about me, but good for me.

Fifty posts, fifty weeks.

Good Friday was last night.

Why do they call it good? Strangely enough, the best explanation I have ever heard or seen popped up on Friday on my niece’s FaceBook post in the form of a comic strip drawn by legendary artist, Johnny Hart, creator of the strip “B.C.” and co-creator of the strip, “The Wizard of Id”:
This is the only reason such a day, such a celebration could be called “good”.

My daughter and I were talking about Good Friday on the way to the service and back. She observed that this the only specifically Christian Holy Day that the secular world has been unable to co-op. We decided that there’s no way that such an event could be made cute or represented by cuddly animals, people in costumes or from which candy companies might not spin adorable commercials or bunnies laying chocolate eggs. Any attempt to “cute-i-fy” Good Friday is doomed to failure by the nature of the day.

It’s grim. Gruesome. Dark.

It’s all about torture and execution.

Outsiders – those who don’t know of, believe or otherwise acknowledge Christianity find it offensive and inexplicable; perhaps even insane. “Why would you possibly want to remember the horrific execution of your rabbi and teacher?”

Last night I realized for the first time that the events leading up to the execution of the Christ are NOT about the failure of God to accomplish His mission on Earth. The crucifixion was NOT a backup plan for the enlightnement of Humanity (and a bad one at that).

The events prior to Good Friday were an exhibit.

An exhibit of everything that is rotten in Humanity and a display of ample proportions of exactly why it needed forgiveness and saving.

The infant Jesus was born a slave to an empire both global and cruel. His birth sparked the slaughter of hundreds of other innocent newborns by decree. His life exposed the tedious, unremarkableness of thirty years of growing old in an ancient world and the loss of his father during adolescence; his three years of ministry exposed him to corrupt government, avarice and greed, ridicule by the intelligentsia, betrayal and abandonment by friends, public adulation turned mockery, lies, a corrupted justice system that did not represent slaves, gambling and drug abuse.

What does this have to do with my wife’s breast cancer? Last night, I was shamed by His suffering because I have for some time now begged and challenged Him to explain, “Why have you made me suffer so?”

He hadn’t answered my plea until last night when He said, “I can’t explain that, Guy. But I can say that I have been with you in that suffering because I understand suffering. I understand despair. I get you. That’s why I haven’t cast a lightning bolt in your direction for your impertinence. I understand, as few others can, your suffering, and I’ll stand by you and answer what questions I can. Look at your blog – lots of answers there. Not ‘the answer’, that won’t come until we can talk face-to-face; but you got a lot of them. See you later, bud.”

I know this isn’t about breast cancer exactly; I suppose I pulled a Johnny Hart on you all. Be that as it may, my prayer is that you might find some answers to your suffering. If you can’t find answers, then I’d be happy to talk with you. Just leave me a comment and I’ll reply…

image: http://images.tcj.com/2012/03/Hart-6.jpg

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