Why isn't Good Friday a bigger deal for us Christians? We celebrate Jesus's birth with cards and gifts and a whole freaking season's load of festivities--what do we do to recognize His death, the catalyst to our salvation?
Maybe Lent if you're a Catholic or a weirdo Protestant like me.
There’s a lot of hype about the Easter Bunny and eggs and hordes of chocolate on Sunday to celebrate His resurrection, but what about his actual death?
Now, I'm not saying we should put on our party hats and bust out the confetti to celebrate that the Redeemer of our souls was gruesomely tortured and murdered, but I feel like it should be a bigger deal.
I think that we get comfortable with our traditions though. Its comfortable whipping out the manger scenes and chopping down a tree the Friday after Thanksgiving, it’s nice to go Christmas shopping and wrap gifts and it's really fun dressing our kids in gaudy Easter outfits to go play in the yard and search for eggs. All of that is fun and good and there ain't nothing wrong it...except it’s just comfortable.
But death? Brutality and torture and ugliness? That's not something that’s comfortable to remember, so I think that's why we as a society must gloss over it.
But if we believe that Christmas is worth celebrating as the birth of our Savior and that Easter is worth celebrating because of His resurrection, then we shouldn't ignore the importance of Good Friday.
And that speaks to a larger problem with us Christ-followers today, especially us American Christians: we are comfortable.
We lead a pretty cushy life, even the ones struggling (and God knows there are many of us) have it a lot better than our brothers and sisters in other places across the globe.
And our unconscious addiction to comfort means that generally we don't like to talk about messy or difficult things.
It's why we gloss over the bloody, excruciatingly painful death of Jesus and jump straight to the bunny rabbits, and I honestly think it’s why so many non-Christians have a problem with us.
I think it could be where this idea of Christians being hypocritical comes from. We'll stand at the pulpit all day talking about your sin or her sin or his sin, but conveniently neglect to speak of our own. Its uncomfortable telling people our flaws--we want to be liked!
But if you are worrying about people liking you, then you have already lost the point of your faith.
We are called to cast off the desires of this world and follow Christ, not try and conform to the expectations of our world hoping it'll get people to like us.
How normal was it for Jesus to wash the feet of His followers? Or to befriend a prostitute? Or choose a tax collector as one of the ones who would spread His message?
No, if Jesus had decided he'd rather be comfortable and liked, he would have been regurgitating everything the Pharisees were saying but trying to tint His message so that people would hopefully catch on that He was the Son of God.
He might have lived a long, happy life as the nice carpenter next-door if it weren't for the uncomfortable truth that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
So Christians, can we try to resolve to stop embracing the comfortable. Let's talk about the mess we have.
When I taught, I'd call it having a "heavy, deep, and real" conversation with my kids. Because once you are able to share your flaws and share your sins and all of the uncomfortable messiness of your life with others, the more clearly they see your need for Jesus.
If we're all so perfect, why did He have to die?
Let's be honest about our messiness, let’s not forget the ugliness, and let’s make ourselves uncomfortable because it is in the truth that Jesus is able to work in us.
Anyway...that’s a roundabout way of saying we need to remember what today really is. What really happened and why it happened and we need humble ourselves and to shout hallelujahs and thank yous since He took that burden from us.