The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood–
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.
~ T.S. Eliot, From “Easter Coker,” 1943
It is both strange and mysterious that we call this day of remembrance good. Jesus has been betrayed, abandoned by his disciples, mocked and beaten. He has suffered a very public humiliation.
More than a hashtag or a trending topic on social media, we have been reading and hearing and telling his story for thousands of years. “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” We have repeated the intimate details and private moments that led to his death because it bears repeating.
We are certain that this is love. In all ways, it is public and for the record. Explicitly stated, there is no way that Jesus is going to take this back.
After all that he has endured, he is then forsaken by God and publicly executed (Matthew 27.46). It is the story of Job compounded. If he had not died from heartbreak or humiliation, the nails seal the tomb.
Still, he died a good death not because of the way that he died but for whom he died. His death saved our spiritual lives. One Friday changed eternity. That’s a good day’s work and that’s why we call this Friday good.