Yes, today is Good Friday. Yes, today we remember that bloody moment of crucifixion.
But what does that mean for us today? Jesus was MURDERED by the Roman Empire for being a trouble maker. He was persecuted by his Jewish religious leaders for being a religious dissident. Jesus was a black poor Jewish man from Nazareth, the “hood” of Jerusalem.
They legally sanctioned this lynching, just like whiteness and empire did with black bodies over the course of our 400 year history in the Americas. Today, it is sanctioned through the murder of black bodies by police. Today it is sanctioned by the scores of black people beholden to poverty and poor living conditions. Today, it is sanctioned by the poisoning of Flint’s residents. Today, the same conditions that MURDERED Jesus are still in place.
On this Good Friday, I choose to remember these conditions and reminded that Jesus calls us to victory over these things. I choose to remember that these things do not have power over God’s anointed: the oppressed. I choose to commit to working to tearing down these institutions of empire, white supremacy, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and more that seek to restrict people from accessing the Kingdom. This Good Friday, I’m encouraged that death does not have the final say. That we shall rise again through the power of God and through the example of Jesus’ resurrection 2000 years ago.
Colossians 2:11-14 ESV In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
I grew up to the mantra that we are sinners saved by grace bought with a price by God. Continually I try to find peace with this notion that we are sinners saved by God’s grace. What is grace? How is it measure? How does God determine who receive it?
In this letter to the Church in Colossia, the author mentions that we are “circumcised with a circumcision without hands.” This circumcision is a removal of all impurities that may have formed because of our sinful being. Every time we give into sin, we induce more of its residue. The writer says here that we were “dead in your trespasses” which means that we became spiritually consumed with the things we had done wrong whether we were convicted in mind, dealing with the consequences of our issues which overwhelmed us, or felt like we could not rid ourselves of them. But the glory of this Word is that Jesus offers us the opportunity to be cleansed again. The debt is on auto-cancellation. All sins are forgiven. It has been nailed to the cross for its death. To activate what is already in query with God’s grace, we must submit to its divine will. Allow a resurrection of our spirit back to where God is. God has “made us alive in him.” There is therefore no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.
So, pray this prayer with me as we all move forward to new life in Christ Jesus:
God of grace, mercy and love,
We are not perfect.
We are not pure.
But we know that through you all things become new.
God help us to know you more
To be disciples of your Word, Will, and Faith
We ask that you purify our hearts of things that come short of your glory.
We ask that you release us to better serve you and your people
Let our hearts and minds be resurrected to your perfect majesty.
Be our tongues so we speak peace
Be our minds so we think Holy
Be our hearts so we love without ceasing
In Jesus, the example of what we could be, we pray,