A Bloody Day For The Dark History OF Humanity
When I was a child…
When I was young and began to comprehend the meaning of Good Friday and the death and the burial and resurrection of Jesus, I had a fascination with the death of Jesus. I can remember vividly how the sight of blood affected me as a boy of seven years of age. My parents at the time were missionary pastors in France, in Alsace Lorraine, in the Vosges district, in the town of Saint Die. There was a butcher there, and I got to accompany my father to the butcher shop. I was there in the midst of carved up carcasses, sides of beef, pork, poultry, and those French delicacies such as wild boar and venison and lamb.
I remember seeing the blood pouring out of one of the cattle hanging on the hook. It was grotesque. The blood just ran, and I remember seeing it thicken as it congealed. It gave me the creeps back then, and my retelling it gives me the creeps all over again. Seeing the entrails and other organs taken out, some to prepared and eaten as delicacies just gave me the willies. They still do. There are some animal parts and organs I still refuse to eat because of what happened on that day when I was seven years old. This I know, taking an impressionable seven year old child to a butcher shop is nothing more than a great trauma to cause a child to endure, for the child will remember the images, the smell, the sensations and all that goes with that scene forever. It is forever ingrained in the person’s psyche, and it is impossible to wash the memory of it away. It is there forever. It becomes a part of you and shapes the rest of your life in many different all-encompassing ways. We can never minimize or trivialize its effects on the life of a human being.
When I think of Good Friday, I think of two things: Darkness & Blood
I think of sin and the dark world in which humanity exists, still, now two millennia removed from the actual day of this historical life altering event
I think of the radical fall of humanity when through the actions of Adam & Eve (yes I believe they were real people, and not an allegory as some would suggest), in rebelling against God and the instructions they were given while in the Garden of Eden. I think of how the government of God was usurped by the great usurper satan and his minions that followed him in his rebellion in heaven and they were cast down to the earth below, only to inflict their harm on the image bearers of God, Adam and Eve. I think of how Eve was deceived by satan in her desire to be like God and receive knowledge to be akin to, alike to God. I think of Adam, the gullible, mindless dweeb of an incompetent oaf, that was seduced by Eve to play along and eat of the forbidden fruit in order to know and understand and be akin to God, even though he knew along that it was forbidden. I think about why Adam could not resist, and confront Eve and go to God and seek God’s help and intervention, rather than enabling Eve in her deception. I think how deception by satan has continually plagued the human race since that rebellion in the Garden from so long ago.
I think about the darkness, the sin that has been unleashed throughout the generations of people, who over and over, prove and verify the veracity of the truth and the extent of the “fall of humankind” every day through every action and decision in which a man, woman, or child is confronted with, and in their quest for making a decision are continually faced with doing what satisfies their ego, their fleshly desires, what is expedient rather than what is right, and often going against what they know deep within their being, in their conscience and heart of hearts, and they do it any way. Yes, I think of the extent of the human condition, the sinful human condition, that is core of human existence and as much of a core and the DNA of which we are composed. There is no escaping the generational effects of being born in sin. And all of this was started by an act of rebellion by Adam and Eve and every offspring from the first couple, the first family, is born dead in sin.
All are born alive in the flesh, but all are born already dead because of the effects of sin. We who are born, are born to die, because of sin. All of us who are born, are on a spiritual “Death Row,” needing to choose a godly response to salvation through repentance and saving faith, or if we refuse or neglect responding we face that day of reckoning of being a “dead man walking” waiting to cross from this life into an eternity of darkness and separation from God and suffer judgment. Our “dead man walking” needs to walk toward Christ and salvation. This is what Good Friday enables us to do… though being dead in sin, we can arise and walk toward Christ, and in repentance and faith we can embrace life that is freely given by Jesus. We can be liberated from death row. The choice is ours. The means have been provided. All we need to do is appropriate it by faith.
When I think of Good Friday, I think of all that blood that was shed for the remission of sin
Bloody, bloody, Friday.
Let that sink in. Think on the imagery I gave of what I stepped into at age seven, in that butcher shop with all that blood flowing from the cattle on the hook. All that sticky congealing blood on the concrete floor.
Some people are casual when it comes to blood. In our day, through the entertainment industry we have become desensitized to it all. So much fake blood through special effects all over the screen in increasingly violent portrayals of violence, which directors believe is a requirement in the telling of a story that has violence as part of the story. The problem again is the toleration effect to the graphic violence and our desensitization to it all which studies show lead us to develop a calloused psyche and deranged soul, especially when it comes to dealing with people who have encountered horrific life altering violence at the hands of another. There are studies that reveal that contemporary soldiers who have been avid RPG gamers, are so desensitized to the violence, that they barely blink when there is collateral damage and innocent civilians are killed in a combat incident or conflict. Some of these acts of violence are perpetrated by soldiers on our own side who just treat non-combatants and enemy personnel as a glorified shooter video game. The military now uses video games to train their soldiers, so more and more virtual reality (VR) is coming into the mainstream. The effect of all that again is the desensitization of individuals who become literally dead to the extremely violent portrayals in the narrative.
I wonder, have we become so desensitized to the graphic nature of the cross of Christ?
When you move about the business of your day today, will you be thinking of the betrayal of Jesus and his unjust trial done in the darkness of the night, as a sham to expedite the death of an innocent victim of those who plotted his demise and destruction? Will you think about how Jesus knew he came to be born of a virgin in order to be the perfect and last sacrifice for sin, the perfect Lamb of God, and the perfect High Priest, offering himself as the sacrifice and the priest over his own death? Will you think of all the weight of the sin that was upon Him as that sacrifice, the weight the sins of the entire breadth and depth of humanity, every soul ever born over all the ages of time, all to be covered for, the shedding of his innocent blood? Have you and I become desensitized to the death of the holiest person to ever walk the face of the earth, dying your place and my place, for our sin?
If you are a believer or a religious person and on Good Friday, you partake of the Lord’s Table, communion, taking the bread and the wine in remembrance of this Day of Atonement, where the perfect atonement, once and for all time is remembered, will you remember, really remember, the shed blood of Jesus of Nazareth, shed for you, for me? Will you remember His broken body hanging on that tree? Will you remember the driving of the nails into his hands? His feet? Will you remember and think about the crown of thorns placed upon His head? Will you remember the tearing of his flesh from the cat of nine tails that pulverized his back? Will you remember and think about the blood pouring from all those wounds, and the blood coming from his pierced side where the legionnaire pierced His side to verify if Jesus was dead yet. Will you think on that?
Today is as good a day as any to think about darkness, the darkness of our own hearts. Today is as good a day to think about the blood, the blood of innocent Jesus of Nazareth, the son of the living God, that shed his blood for the remission of our sins.
Today is the day to think about darkness and blood. Think on it. Think on it for a while. After a while take a moment, if you know Jesus Christ, to thank Him for what He has provided you as a believer. If you don’t yet know Him, then take a while and consider asking Jesus to reveal Himself to you. The best way to know and understand Him, is to read the Gospel narratives. You read and ask God to reveal Himself to you as you read. It is that simple. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These four have become my friends on my life journey. They can become your friends too.
It’s all about the darkness and the blood. The blood that washed away my filthy stains. Have you been washed clean by the blood of the Lamb?
Peace & Grace to you.
~ Samuel M. Buick