South Africa: Carrying the Cross. South Africa: Carrying the Cross. 

Good Friday: Contemplating Jesus the man of sorrows.

Good Friday commemorates the day Jesus Christ, the son of God and saviour of humanity, was crucified and died on the Cross.

Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo – Oyo, Nigeria.

Good recalls the day when God chose to redeem the world by giving up his only son to suffer and die on the cross in order to show just how much he hates sin.

The Church is not a hotel for perfect people

God wants everybody to abandon sin, embrace holiness and live a life of sacrifice for others, so he made Jesus an example. Jesus’ words and actions, especially at his crucifixion, show how much he wanted to save sinners. He was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles but on a cross between two thieves to give them maximum opportunity for conversion. He even forgave his killers. That is why the Church today is not meant to be a hotel for perfect people but a spiritual hospital for sinners who would repent.

The Jesus story, 2000 years later

Good Friday calls on us all to be faithful to our Christian calling. Jesus died to save life, and all who destroy it and cause others to do so can neither worship him nor win his favour. All must remember that they will have to account before the Creator and face the verdict of history and posterity. It is a day that calls on people in power to repent and address the needless bloodshed, suffering and destruction that their sin, crimes, bad actions and inaction are causing for millions of innocent people. Time never forgets, and that is why the Jesus story is still being told after 2000 years, just like ours will be.

God is not absent when there is pain

Good Friday teaches all oppressed and suffering people that God is near to them. It shows that this world has always been sometimes unjust and unfair. It shows how already in the time of Jesus, evil people conspired to punish and kill the innocent because of lust for money and power and wickedness. It also shows that God suffers with us, for by his wounds we are healed (Is. 53:5) but has utmost patience for unjust, evil people so he may be glorified. It reminds us that God is not absent when there is pain, sorrow, and suffering, especially when innocent people suffer.

Good Friday reminds Christians that salvation comes from the virtues of the cross of Christ-like trust in God and forgiveness. It is necessary for all who believe in him to unite their sufferings and trials with Jesus. It is a reminder to stop seeking a resurrection that does not pass through the way of the cross. Good Friday condemns the “get rich quick, cash and carry, wealth without work, and pleasure without principle-mentality,” which many people crave today. Such attitudes, especially in the youth, the politicians and other leaders today, must be arrested. They offend God and only lead to a disastrous rat race, producing more casualties, as we see already.

You must carry your Cross, follow Jesus and find peace

In the modern world, Jesus has many lovers of his kingdom but very few bearers of his cross. Yet there can be no cross without a crown. Good Friday reminds us of the one who carried the cross of our sins and urged us to do the same. It enjoins us to see our trials and challenges as an opportunity to unite with God’s plan to save us and others through us and be glorified. In saving others, we ensure our own Salvation (Matt 16:24-27). Good Friday ultimately affirms that only by the virtues of Christ crucified will the world find joy, peace and salvation.

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15 April 2022, 09:33