God asked Adam and Eve, “Where are you?”
God asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
Jesus twice asks the arresting mob in the garden, “Whom are you looking for?”
Is forgiveness soft? Is forgiving someone taking the easy way out and not addressing the issue or holding someone accountable? You are probably on to me by now…forgiveness is never soft, easy, ignores the wrong, or leaves us unaccountable.
When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the garden, God knows full well where they are but still asks them to declare exactly where they were so that they may own up to what they had done. God forgave them as part of holding them accountable. God also knew full well where the dead brother Abel was and yet he demanded that Cain give him the specifics so that he too may be held accountable for his actions. On this Good Friday we see this play out once again as Jesus knew full well that the crowd came to Gethsemane looking for him but he wanted them to answer for themselves out loud. But instead of holding the arresting mob accountable, notice who is named and in so doing becomes the accountable one. Jesus the Nazarene.
That is what Good Friday is all about. Jesus being accountable for the world’s evil and my//your/our part in it. Romans 5:6-10 reminds us that
While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.
Someone, somewhere, somehow had to be accountable for the state of the world and humanity within it. And rather than send another flood to set things straight God decided to send his Son. Rather than pour out fire from the sky God sent his Son. Rather than say, “Look what these evil people are doing to me!” Jesus says, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Rather than tell us that we are finished, Jesus said “It is finished.”
Whom do you seek this Good Friday?
Jesus the Nazarene continues to be ready and able to be accountable for your life.
For this reason alone it truly is a Good Friday.