By: Maggie Leonard
Reflection—v. 5, ‘I am…’
As a cradle Presbyterian, Good Friday is a hard day for me theologically. I did not spend much time growing up contemplating the cross, and songs that seem to suggest we bathe in Christ’s blood give me the heebie-jeebies. In fact, I used to say that I am not a Christian because of Jesus’ death—everyone dies—but because of his resurrection. So what about Good Friday, then? It is said that suffering is brought about by our resistance to pain. In John’s Gospel, we clearly see Jesus surrendering to the challenges and painful events set before him. In the garden, when approached and questioned by the soldiers, Jesus replies with an affirmation of his identity that is also an invocation of the divine name, ‘I am.’ What do we resist, try to control, and hide from? New life cannot be brought about without death—the death of old habits, the death of ego, the death of lies, the death of unhealthy relationships, the death of fear. Let us, like Jesus, embrace new life in the face of death, knowing who we are in God.
Prayer Jesus, death holds no sway over me, for with you, death can only lead to new life.