Good Friday

“Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.” (Matthew 27:50-53)

The gospels and the liturgy of the Church see cosmic forces on this day. Today the world is shaken and everything changes. Today death is destroyed by death.

We sing:

“The whole creation was transformed by fear, when it saw you hanging on the Cross, O Christ. The sun grew dark and the earth’s foundations were shaken. All thing suffered with you who made all thing. O Lord, who willingly endured this for us, glory to you.”

This cosmic change is real. We are transformed. At the very moment that Jesus gave up his human soul on the Cross, all human nature was transformed. The English priest-poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, caught this in his poem, “That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and the comfort of the Resurrection.”

“In a flash, at a trumpet crash, I am all at once what Christ is, since he was what I am, and this jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal diamond, is immortal diamond.”

Today the world may see foolishness in Christ, but the cross is wisdom, and guides us to the understanding that the world cannot give. This is the glory of God, and there is no other. This is our faith, and there is no other, for at the moment of his death Christ pours forth life upon all. This is indeed the Good Friday, all-good and the destruction of all evil.

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras