Across the Pastor’s Desk: What Good Friday should mean

Published 9:45 pm Thursday, April 18, 2019

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Mark Boorsma

Mark Boorsma


On this day called Good Friday, Christians remember the self-giving death of Jesus, whose offering of his life forever raises a new creation in his own resurrection. 

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A broken world reverberates with a surprising plea from the dying Jesus:  “Father, forgive them.”

Naturally, Good Friday is not most peoples’ favorite part of the story. Most would rather hasten on to an empty tomb, and on to the eggs, baskets, jelly beans and chocolate bunnies that have been merged into the celebration of resurrection. But I’m not sure it’s possible to know Jesus well unless one spends time contemplating and reflecting upon his death on the cross — not just as an old story, but as a liberating Passover narrative that includes you. Those who have come to believe that Jesus’ saving death is “for you” find insight into God’s own heart, and come to know themselves as beloved community.

Although I deeply appreciate that the death of Jesus was and is for me, faith-filled maturity flows not from the mere individual and personal appropriation of this saving truth.  The Holy Spirit helps me “grow up” in faith by revealing that absolutely every person I meet is a sinner for whom Christ died — alienated, broken and hurting human beings God has not cast off or abandoned, but whom God so eternally loves as to give the beloved son to suffer and die.

I invite you today to bring to mind your enemies and those with whom your relationships are especially troubled or broken. Imagine yourself at the foot of the cross — with them — mutually astonished at a love so amazing, so divine, that Christ gives himself in love for each of you. Then pray that Jesus might still kindle in us a share of his love, forgiveness, generosity of spirit and liberating work in this world God so loves.

For Jewish readers for whom these nights are different from all other nights, may you have a kosher and joyous Pesach!

Mark Boorsma is the pastor at Ascension Lutheran Church in Albert Lea.