Good Friday at our house is not the somber occasion I often think it ought to be. But we begin with Stations of the Cross with our local Faith & Light group, which is something, anyway. Tonight for supper, it’s pizza (no pepperoni!) in the shape of a cross–a request one of my sons made a few years ago. And I will listen to this a few more times, in quiet moments:
Who said to the trout,
You shall die on Good Friday
To be food for a man
And his pretty lady?
It was I, said God,
Who formed the roses
In the delicate flesh
And the tooth that bruises.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
(Isaiah 53: 4)
…my kingship is not from this world.
Abba Hyperichus said, “The watchful monk works night and day to pray continually: but if his heart is broken and lets tears flow, that calls God down from heaven to have mercy.”
* * *
That’s what today is about: he has “carried our sorrows.” On the cross, Jesus takes on all the sorrows of the fallen creation, of fallen human creatures. And Mark’s gospel records Jesus’ call from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” So cries the broken heart for the God who alone can heal. But Jesus’ broken heart calls God down from heaven to have mercy on us all. His heart is the one heart that can break for the whole world and so heal the whole world.
When we are broken hearted over our own sins, when we feel that grief, we participate in Jesus’ grief on the cross: he took our sorrows, our grief, and now we only experience it properly as we participate in him.