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April 10, 2009 [LINK / comment]
Good Friday: spoiler alert
On the somber occasion of Good Friday, it's a good idea to try to put oneself in the shoes of the followers of Jesus when he was being crucified, reminding ourselves of what it's all about. Observant Christians mark Holy Week by reciting biblical passages about Jesus Christ's last days, but after doing the same ritual for so many years, some of the drama wears off. Why? Because you know how the story is going to end, so it is hard to imagine the sense of utter and complete despair that they must have felt.
Some time back in the 1980s, I happened to see the movie It's a Wonderful Life for the first time. I had heard of it, but didn't know the plot, so as George Bailey's (Jimmy Stewart's) life kept going from bad to even worse, I was appalled by the (apparently) ironic contrast with the movie title. Feeling down and out at the time, I could relate to the cruel twists of fate suffered by the protagonist, so when the angel Clarence finally pulled the right spiritual strings to make everything right at the end, I had a deep emotional catharsis, even shedding tears. (!)
Now, if I had known how the movie would turn out, I never would have fully appreciated the ending, and the inspirational message would not have had nearly as great an impact on me. So it is with the story of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins: For most of us, it doesn't have such a big impact because we already know he will be resurrected on the third day. But just try to put yourself in the shoes of a non-Christian who is learning the Gospel for the first time, and who doesn't know the "ending to the story." It would be an overwhelming experience to go from being completely disconsolate to being completely happy.
Perhaps other people have other ways of focusing their minds and hearts so as to fully grasp the meaning of Christ's death and resurrection, experiencing the awe. It doesn't matter how you do it, it just matters that you make the effort to connect with our Creator, who gave his only son for the sake of our everlasting souls. It's the least we can do in return.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 10 Apr 2009, 10: 30 PM
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March 13, 2009 Tax revolt in Augusta County!
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March 27, 2009 Facebook: resistance is futile
April 5, 2009 RPV chair Frederick is removed
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June 28, 2009 Obama's health care proposals
June 29, 2009 House votes to regulate climate
July 7, 2009 R.I.P. Michael Jackson, Superstar
July 9, 2009 Conservative defeat in Mexico
August 16, 2009 Great Baseball Road Trip 2009
August 23, 2009 Road Trip 2009: The Birds of August
August 27, 2009 R.I.P. Edward M. Kennedy
September 7, 2009 Two clutch homers end Nats' skid
October 10, 2009 Republicans reunite in Verona
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November 4, 2009 Republicans sweep Virginia races
November 5, 2009 Yankees are the 2009 champions
November 21, 2009 Senate votes on health care
December 23, 2009 Musings on health care "reform"
December 30, 2009 Decade of creation, and destruction
December 30, 2009 Whither the Republican soul?
December 31, 2009 A (half) decade of baseball in D.C.
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