Death is never the end

April 7, 2023 – Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

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“It is finished.” These were the last words of Jesus as he bowed down and completely handed over his spirit to the Father. The scenes of betrayal, denials, tortures, insults, humiliations and indifference towards him were overwhelming. Yet, Jesus remained silent in many instances to allow humanity to look at the growing hatred in the hearts of many and to recognize as well how God patiently gazed at each of us, calling us to that kind of loving and self-giving that is of complete madness.

Yet, in this madness, we are spared from eternal death through the life, suffering and death of Jesus. This is what makes this horrible day turned into Good, because evil and death is to be overcome by love and life. Hence, we call this Good Friday.

Indeed, Jesus suffered and Died. Jesus knew that he will suffer and die but at the beginning he did not know how he will it be. This was something that Jesus had a control but he let go of his power to have full control of his life. Jesus rather submitted himself to the will of his Father. He emptied himself, did not cling to his power and divinity, for us to be given life.

God’s commitment to us and in our covenant with him, is so deep and great. God is most willing not just to become like us but also to suffer and to die like us and for us. But what is really sad, is that Jesus was a victim of an unjust political system, a victim of manipulation of the powerful in the society. He suffered because of the greed of the powerful. He died because of the corrupted heart of those in power.

The Lord embraced suffering and death because that was his ultimate expression of “solidarity with the suffering.” His suffering and death was an insult to those who wanted to stay in power. The all-powerful God embraced human suffering and death to tell us that everything in this world will also end. No matter how much wealth and power we will have, those will come to an end.

However, let us also remember that Jesus’ death was a REDEEMER’S PAYMENT. The punishment of human sin is eternal death and misery. But because of the death of Jesus, God paid our debt, so that we won’t have that eternal death and misery.

Photo by Agree Portraits

Remember again, the sin of Adam and Eve to become like God, was the image of the whole humanity’s sin to act like God and to be like God. Thus, Jesus’ death on a shameful cross broke also that separated us from the grace of God. Jesus brought us back again into God’s presence. Nevertheless, death is never the end. Suffering and death is not everything in this finite world. There is more, even beyond death.

From here, we are called to silently gaze upon the cross, to look at Jesus and see ourselves. Yet, let us also look beyond, let us also see our families on that cross, our friends, our communities, our nation and world that is suffering and in need of redemption.

Let our silence and God’s silence on the cross, bring us more into the heart of God that constantly calls us into life and freedom. Kabay pa.

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