A good friend wished me a Happy Good Friday. Let’s celebrate this day.
Celebrate? It suddenly occurred to me that it feels strange to celebrate someone’s immense suffering, that of Jesus’s crucifixion and eventual horrible death on the cross. Today is the day he died for us. The day God sacrificed his only son to save us. Is that cause for celebrations? Urghhlings tortured him. Hoisted him high up, bled him, mocked him. Killed him. What’s so good about that Friday? Later I find out Good means Holy. Holy Friday? Why is the execution of Jesus holy? There is nothing holy about the killing of a human being, right? My friends inform me it’s good because mankind is redeemed by his death. And has mankind been redeemed? If so, that’s really good. In ancient times urghhlings needed sacrificial killings. It’s awful that 1500 years after Buddha, there were still civilisations that saw a need for sacrifice. For God to also see the necessity to sacrifice his son is especially numbing.
But, how do we know today is the day? It can’t be, right? My dad passed away on 10th April 2007. It was a Tuesday. Since then the 10th April has fallen once on a Monday and a Saturday and twice on the other days. Yet, Good Friday is always on a Friday, and his resurrection therefore is always on a Sunday. How can that be? When exactly is the day he died on the cross? Which day of 2019 is the actual day to observe his death? Googling for the answer did not help. He who determined that the lunisolar calendar be used to determine when Easter is would have been a rather determined fella. How else would he have convinced the authorities to accept it let alone understand it?!
We have different calendars, the Gregorian one dominates in the west, and Easter must fall on a Sunday. Eastern Christianity follows the Julian calendar, their “full moon” is later than the astronomical full moon, and their Easter is therefore often later. How many moons are there in this world? I was later to be more confused to learn that there is another full moon, the ecclesiastical moon!
Why is it called Easter? God sacrificed his son, yet Easter is derived from the name of an old English goddess called Eostre as mentioned by the 7th century monk Bede. Why not call it in God’s name instead? Abba, the old hebrew term for God. Yeah, Abba’s Day. The resurrection of Jesus is a huge event, a miracle that much of the world still believes and celebrates. But, I still admire David Copperfield though. At least he always reappeared after disappearing into thin air. Jesus rose from the dead, but no one has seen him since.
Anyway, we all should appreciate the sacrifice God made. It is no easy thing to sacrifice one’s only son for the salvation of humankind. That is ultimate love. I am always glad the sacrifice was for 3 days, and not forever.