This is the second part of a Holy Week trilogy. Find part one here: “The God Who Bleeds.” Find part three here: “We Had Hoped.”
God is dead, and we killed him. This is the terrifying reality of what we so cruelly call “Good Friday.” This is the sudden, dark twist in the story that had started so beautifully.
The God who had created walked among us. Clothed, as we are, in flesh and blood and dust. Touching and restoring and healing His broken children. Repairing the damage that sin and time and darkness had wrought on the planet He so loved.
There had been prophets before, holy men and poets singing and shouting the words of the Most High. But Jesus was different. He was not a man sent from God. He was the man who was God. Spirit and soul and flesh and blood all tangled together and drenched in both humanity and divinity. The Creator among the creation. God with us.
And we killed him.
Theologically, I know this isn’t so. Men can’t kill God. But the paradox of Good Friday is that we did. With politics and religion, with rage and fear, with wood and nails and fists we tore apart the body of the God and left Him to hang alone covered in blood and spit and shame. The Creation murdered the Creator.
Of course the earth shook when the breath that had formed mankind slipped from the lungs of the very One who first spoke it all into existence. I wonder that mountains and oceans and planets and stars didn’t all plummet together into an infinite void of darkness, when the Hands that had molded them fell limp and lifeless, pierced and broken.
“God is dead.” The whispering fear must have gnawed at the hearts and stomachs of the Followers, the brave few who had believed. The ones who had seen the miracles and heard the stories and knew that this was no prophet or poet, but God with skin on. Now His skin was cold and lifeless, torn from the bone and broken beyond recognition.
Who do you pray to, when you’ve just witnessed God’s life snuffed out?
I’m remember that terrifying whisper, that gnawing fear. God is dead. Not too long ago, it lurked close to my mind and heart. Maybe Nietzsche was right. Maybe there was nothing beyond what we can taste and touch. Only darkness, and fear, and loneliness. “God is dead,” I thought, but I was afraid to admit it. Torn between faith and endless doubt, trying to pray but only able to whisper, “God, if you’re real…”
We know how the story ends, but in that one infinitely dark moment all the theology in the world offers little comfort. Miracles are shrouded in grief, and faith struggles to breathe. So we are left standing beside the grave that holds the broken body of our God and the shattered pieces of our belief. Alone with prayers on our lips, but no one to hear. Hoping against hope that we are wrong. Waiting for resurrection.
[ Image: Lee Kindness ]