April 02, 2021 FPCLA Lenten Word Meditation

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Today, Christians all over the world are observing Good Friday. It is commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Why is it called Good Friday when everything that happened on that day is terrible? Many believe that Jesus died for the sin of the world.
Much of Christian theology has been used to guilt and shame people. The prominent Christian theology states that you and I and everyone else are so bad that Jesus had to die for us. The prominent Christian theology states that we deserve all the beatings, the walk of shame, the crucifixion, the suffering, and yes, even death; but, Jesus took it for all of us. I believe people call this guilting and shaming spiritual abuse.
You see, Jesus provoked the authorities by expressing his disapproval of the actions of the religious and political leaders. The things he said and did provoke the authorities to the point that Jesus was black-listed. Jesus challenged the system that took advantage of the poor, the widow, and the outcast. He sided with the people who were oppressed by the economic policies created by the religious and political leaders. He sided with the people who were considered unclean and sinners by the religious authorities.
What happened if someone provokes and challenges the authority? That someone will be imprisoned and even killed. And that is what got Jesus killed.
Jesus died because he wanted change; he died because he wanted justice; he died because he wanted compassion for those who are oppressed by the systems set up by the religious and political leaders. That’s what got Jesus killed.
Friends today, we are remembering the terrible fate that Jesus suffered by going against the authorities. There is nothing sacred and holy about the execution and torture of Jesus. It’s a sorrowful day.
John 19:38-42
38 After all this, Joseph of Arimathea (he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, because he was intimidated by the Jews) petitioned Pilate to take the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission. So Joseph came and took the body.
39-42 Nicodemus, who had first come to Jesus at night, came now in broad daylight carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. They took Jesus’ body and, following the Jewish burial custom, wrapped it in linen with the spices. There was a garden near the place he was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been placed. So, because it was Sabbath preparation for the Jews and the tomb was convenient, they placed Jesus in it.


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