My son, Levi, when he was little was confused by the term Good Friday and insisted we rename the day ‘Dead Jesus Day’. The concept that death could be good was beyond him, and the more literal description brings the hard truth of the day to the fore.
Today we remember the cost of our salvation. This unique painting by Tissot is a fitting one to contemplate, not just today but throughout the year.
Here is an excerpt from the video, from the contemplation section which begins at the 9:23 mark.
As we move into a time of contemplation I am struck by the fact that many of Tissot’s contemporaries doubted his conversion was real, but we have been told that a life given to Christ will produce fruit. While over a century has passed since Tissot died, we have the fruit of his conversion to challenge, encourage, and testify to us still.
As we are called to emulate Christ, it is interesting to contemplate his view in this pivotal moment.
From the gospel accounts we have the few sentences Christ uttered from the cross, and it’s as if he’s speaking to these groups as he gazes out.
His heart is concerned with his mother, and he places her in John’s care, knowing he will not only see to her needs, but love her.
His heart is concerned with those dying beside him, and even in this moment of pain beyond understanding he extends grace.
His heart is concerned for the soldiers, Jewish leaders, and the fickle crowd as he asks God to forgive them.
His heart is concerned for those he is dying to save. Christ alone knows that his death is new beginning, that in three days he will rise and everything will be changed. Alone with that knowledge, looking out at those that love him, hate him, and are indifferent we know that he dies for them all.
And that we are called to emulate him, to consider those in our personal world with Christ’s perspective.
Who are the Mary’s and John in your life, those who are faithful even at personal risk? Who are your ‘Jewish leaders’, those who wish to see you fail, who count as their enemy? Who are your ‘fickle crowd’ who are supportive one day and cursing you the next? Who are your indifferent soldiers? Who is your centurion, watching you closely, and wondering if you are truly a son or daughter of God?