I was asked the other day, “Why do Christians celebrate the day the Jews killed some guy?” in reference to the worship services held on Good Friday. As a Christian, I never shy away from theological discussion especially when people who are not Christians begin asking questions. I responded by pointing out that we are recognizing the sacrifice Jesus made for us by dying on the cross. That short interaction made me think whether others understand the purpose of Good Friday.
A quick search in Youtube will reveal many street interviews asking passersby what they think of Jesus. There are a lot of very common answers that come up. ‘He was a good man.’ ‘He was a great teacher.’ ‘He loved people.’ ‘He brought a message of peace.’ All of those answers relate to His life. No one ever comments on how He died.
While I will admit, there is much about the life of Jesus we can acknowledge as good. Even scholars of his day recognized him as a good man. For Christians and many non-Christians, the life of Jesus is one to emulate. Many quote “Love your neighbor as yourself” in their attempt to teach others a guide for morality. The teachings of Jesus are very dear to me; however, the truer meaning in His life is that he lived it perfectly. More then His teachings; His perfect and innocent life is why His death becomes important.
The last days in the life of Jesus never come up on those street interviews. Although I would wager 95% of the country knows He died on a cross. Yet, no one ever suggest that we should live as he died.
The death of Jesus holds a twofold sacrifice. First, God the Father gave His Son to the world to save it in order that we might live with him in heaven. Second, Jesus sacrificed his own life to the same people that were nailing him to the cross. I saw a painting once of man holding a hammer in one hand and a nail in the. He is slumped forward under the heavy burden of these two objects. Behind him, holding him up is Jesus. Loving the one who put Him on the cross. Me!
The video I have loaded on this blog comes from a Czech film, The Most (The Bridge). A person has taken some key moments from the video and edited them together in an effort to portray the scenes of Good Friday. The little boy is Jesus with his Father in the bridge control booth. The Father is faced with an impossible question. Save one at the expense of all or save all at the expense of one.
Most people on that train may never know what happened on that bridge. The true cost of their train ride. Not unlike many on this planet that may never know the true cost of their life. Yet, if you do know, are you willing to sacrifice for Him. The girl on train knew what happened and gave up what might have been the most important thing in her life. To live as Jesus died is to live for others. Not just love your neighbor, but live for your neighbor in love.
I have hesitated from being a Bible thumper on my blog. However, having seen this video, I knew it was worth sharing during this Easter Season. Whether or not you are a Christian, the story of Jesus’ life and death are an excellent guide. In the end, who knows, maybe you will realize the cost of your train ride.