The Somerset Guardian, 31st March 2021

My children ask me the question that I remember asking my parents.  “Why is it Good Friday, not Bad Friday?” It obviously seems so terrible an event, the end of Christ’s earthly ministry, the apostles scattered with Christ betrayed and denied.  Only his sorrowful mother looked on with St. John at her side. The world was dark and the curtain of the temple, that hid the inner sanctum, was torn in two.  It seemed as if he had failed and as if God had abandoned him.

Yet the truth was very different.  The darkness was about to give way to light, for even on the way to the Cross Christ was bringing salvation by his sacrifice. This was a sacrifice of blood as each drop saved the world as an expiation for sin. The idea of a bloody sacrifice is one that many religions are familiar with but Christ’s never needed to be repeated. He is the son of God, both fully human and divine, no future sacrifice could be as profound as his nor could his blood fail to achieve its purpose, that is the forgiveness of sins which the sinless Christ took on his shoulders for all of us, past present and future.

Thus the sacrifice was and is good in itself, not just because it lead to the Resurrection. It is the sacrifice that redeems and the resurrection that proves. Hence on Easter Sunday we rejoice that Our Saviour could not be defeated by death and as the centurion at the foot of the Cross said “truly this man is the Son of God”.

We do not see and cannot feel the wounds of Christ as St. Thomas once did but faith and experience show us today the reality of Christ’s redeeming blood. It is Good Friday because it removes the burden of sin from us but it is a day of repentance for the cruelty that lead to this sacrifice would not have been necessary without mankind’s sinfulness.

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