Some Good Friday Thoughts...

By Leslie Chandler

In this world we all live in, we are hyper aware of more differences among us than perhaps ever before: we tend to define ourselves within the scope of diseases, gender and identity, race, sexuality, age, employment status, culture, political views, religious and philosophical beliefs, mental health issues, social-economic status and so much more. But this increasing “awareness” is kind of paradoxical, and sometimes I think it is like an ever-growing smokescreen that decreases our consideration of our one common trait, that one thing that unites us all in our humanity. It is, regardless of our circumstances, that no-one can argue we are all born and we all die. It is the only thing we really all share in common. The inescapable. And so, on this Good Friday, my own thoughts seem to be on the topic of life and death.

I cannot bear the tragedy of living a life without purpose or meaning, where there is no such thing as a universal “right” and a universal “wrong,” where it really doesn’t matter what you give or take or get or lose, and where, after you die, there is no lingering fragrance of one’s inherent value because what does it all matter anyway? This is complete and utter hopelessness and, for me, would be a non-existence, a prolonged dying before physical death eventually happens. How utterly depressing!

Instead, I have considered whose example inspires me and who I choose to follow. I choose to live and to hope; I choose to not exist bleakly every day. It’s just my choice.

Jesus Christ demonstrated to everyone how to overcome death. He shows us all how to live with purpose, how to believe, know and feel that we are so valued and loved beyond comparison and how to have hope, even hope beyond the grave. He understands us all intimately, our sufferings and what gives us the most joy. His ways are not the ways of our world, but they are also surprising, amazing and, yes, miraculous. He truly understands all those who feel marginalized: after all, He — a perfect God — came to live among us in an imperfect human body... which was transformed into perfection when He rose from the dead. If anyone was different from everyone in that regard, it is only Jesus. But because He can live after death on the cross, that proves we ALL can.

(I can’t imagine how it would feel to choose to leave a perfect body in Heaven — out of selfless love for everyone — to inhabit an imperfect human body and accept a gruesome sacrificial death, again out of selfless love for everyone! How can dysphoria become euphoria? Look at Jesus. Follow Him.)

I still have a hard time understanding how He managed to accomplish this “impossible” feat, to defeat death! But “how” doesn’t matter because it is not a mere fairy tale; it is a historical fact. He did it. And He did it for me. For you. For us all. Because He loves us and invites us to accept this amazing gift of eternal life, eternal joy, eternal euphoria... with Him.

So, until the “Third Day,” I will be especially mindfully grateful for the gift of love and life I have chosen to accept. For me, living this life, while holding this precious gift, makes ALL the difference.