Today is the day. The day Jesus is crucified. The day his torture culminates in nailing him to the cross and stabbing him with a spear. Today is the day we lost our hope.
I am one of the Unitarian Universalists who believe in the divinity of Jesus, but with a twist. I believe we are each divine and human at once. For me, when we talk of inherent worth and dignity of every person, we are talking about the part of us that is of God, that is God. We are saying there is a part of us, each of us, that is good and holy.
On Good Friday, Jesus is crucified. He carries a cross on his back up a hill after enduring whippings. He is bleeding, he is tired, he is at the end. His followers look on in silence. Hope is lost. The savior is dying. This feeling carries on today each and every time we hear of another terrorist attack, another hate crime, another black man (or boy) murdered. Deep in the pit of my stomach I feel the despair; hope is lost and salvation is slipping further and further from our reach.
Now is a good time to mention I am a UU who also believes in salvation. I don’t think we are being saved from hell, but I wish and pray with all my might we may find salvation from the atrocities of the world: from bombings and terror, from rape culture, from racism… I could go on. Salvation in this life is my prayer. Then I turn on the T.V. and I see would be leaders talking about monitoring our Muslim friends. I hear mobs of people cheering them on. I see states enacting laws which discriminate against our transgender friends, making the world less safe for them. When will we learn?
In our civilized society we still have the death penalty. We still sentence people to die. We don’t whip them and make them carry a cross. We strap them down, we put on a show for those who want to see it happen. We take a life and call it justice. We take a life and we do not grieve.
Today and tomorrow is the hardest part of Holy Week. We have lost hope. We grieve. We allow ourselves to wail and wring our hands. We let the story of the passion of Christ move us. We let it break our hearts. We let the tears wash away the film which has, for too long, been covering our eyes.
On Good Friday Jesus is crucified. Hope is lost. We do not yet know that Easter is coming.