Instead of writing something new for this already overly-busy Holy Week, I decided to take some time for reading and musical meditation on the death of Christ and the meanings that it has for me. If you also need to slow down and pause to contemplate the darkness of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, here are a few suggested readings and songs from my interweb wanderings on this Maundy Thursday evening. Wander along with me, or share your own favorite readings or musical meditations in the comments.
David Henson – “The Crucifixion: A Tale of Two Kingdoms (Good Friday Homily, John 18:1-19-42)” Reflections on how Jesus’s passion reflects a conflict between two types of two kingdoms: “One, the kingdoms of humankind, which come to power through violence and maintain it through oppression and the sword. The other, the kingdom of God, which comes to power through love and sacrifice and a towel.”
Fr. Stephen Freeman – “A Lesser Atonement” – An Orthodox point of view about how the work of Christ on the cross was about union, not about substitution.
Rabbi Rami Shapiro “Ten Thoughts on Good Friday” – A Jewish point of view on the meanings of Jesus and Good Friday and how even non-Christians can honor the day.
Mark Sandlin – “God Did Not Kill Jesus on the Cross for our Sins” – Mark Sandlin reflects on Jesus’s death as what the fullness of love looks like in action.
Brian Zahnd – “Jesus Died for Us . . . Not for God” – Zahnd approaches atonement with these questions: “Where do we find God on Good Friday? Is God found in Caiaphas seeking a sacrificial scapegoat? Is God found in Pilate requiring a punitive execution? Or is God found in Jesus, absorbing sin and responding with forgiveness?”
What Wondrous Love is This
Were You There When They Crucified My Lord
He Never Said a Mumblin’ Word
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
“See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
– Isaac Watts (1707)
Del Greco, La trinidad (c. 1577)