I don’t particularly like Good Friday worship services. They make me uncomfortable, introspective and they can seem a bit morose. I’d rather just skip straight to the Easter celebration. After all, wouldn’t you rather go to a party than an execution?
But Redwood Covenant has wisely chosen to offer a Good Friday ‘journey to the cross” service, and I’m glad they did. Some churches skip it, in favor of offering more Easter services. But I think that misses something important. If you’re going to follow Jesus, you can’t get to the celebration of “he is risen” without traveling to the cross.
Luther called this a “theology of the cross.” And his reading of Scripture let him to conclude that a theology that bypasses the cross is a truncated theology. And truncated theologies, while easier to swallow, make truncated Christians.
I don’t like the cross, but I need the cross. And I need to travel to the cross of Christ to fully appreciate the depth of God’s love given in Jesus. I also need to travel to the cross to appropriate the depth of the Easter celebration. When I bypass the cross, I miss out. I can kiss my wife with cellophane between our lips, but it’s just not the same. OK, maybe that’s not the best illustration, but you get the point.
I invite you to join me for a reflective meditation on God’s amazing act of sacrificial love this Good Friday. Join me at the cross. Then, two-days later, let the celebration begin.