Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Beloved in Christ, this day is called good friday because it was the day on which our debt to God was finally paid and in full by Jesus Christ. The central object today is the cross. In Gen. 2:16-17, the tree was attractive to the eyes but it’s fruits led humanity to disconnection from God, while the cross which had no attraction to our eyes led us to friendship with God and salvation.
Beloved, today is therefore what it is because of our sins, a reminder that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (cf Rms. 3:23). Hence our theme for this celebration is ” BECAUSE OF OUR SINS”. This is to enable us appreciate the meaning of Christ death to us and how we are to respond to the fact that Christ died for us.
My dear friend, our first reading from Isaiah describes Jesus’ passion. It highlights Jesus’ suffering and the fact that it was for our sins Jesus suffered. The gospel on the other hand present to us John’s account of the passion narrative. And according to John, Jesus’ last words before dying was ” it is finished”. In the original Greek the word that was used was “tetelestai” which means “paid in full. We don’t owe anything anymore. Therefore when Jesus said ” it is finished”, He meant the debt we owe God by our sins has been paid in full.
Beloved, the background to this understanding is the fact that the Jews at the time of Jesus saw sin, as a debt we owe God. And this debt must somehow be repaid. Jesus therefore made use of the same language and spoke of sin as debt and forgiveness as a cancellation of debt. Thus when Jesus said “tetelestai” it means our sins have been completely forgiven. In fact it is finished.
Beloved in Christ, on Good Friday we celebrate the fact that God’s forgiveness is not a mere promise, as in your sins will be forgiven or a conditional statement, as in your sins are forgiven if but a reality as in your sins are forgiven.
Beloved, on this day when we see effects of our sins and as we venerate the cross as the symbol of the victory over evil it should move us to a deep sorrow for our sins and a sincere desire to repent of them. Let us therefore resolve by a life of holiness say thank you to Jesus for the victory of the cross.
This has been Fr. Dolphyne’s presentation for the celebration of Good Friday.
May God richly bless you.