I have what I think might be a strange habit. Whenever I read a biblical story, I try to picture myself there. I want to know where would I be in this story. More to the point I want to know who would I be in the story.
The events of Good Friday are no exception. I want to know where would I be and what I would be doing had I been in Jerusalem during Good Friday.
This story offers a number of possibilities;
I could be part of the Jewish elite actively trying to have Jesus put to death
I could be part of the Roman guard who beat and mock Jesus
I could be part of the Roman leadership that grants the death penalty
I could be one of the nine disciples who have fled completely
I could be Peter or John who initially fled but drew somewhat nearer
I could be part of the mob of onlookers that mock Jesus as he carries his cross
I could be part of the mockers at the cross
I could be part of Jesus’ women followers who stayed close to him through this ordeal (I think I could any way assuming they would allow a man to join them)
I could be one of the other people crucified on the same day
Not a lot of what I would call good options. Unless I could do something none of Jesus’ other male followers were able to do, stay loyal and close like the women, I am left with abandoning Jesus, insulting Jesus, or persecuting Jesus. Like I said not the best set of choices I have been presented.
But as the more I think about it I can’t help but notice that there is at least one more possibility;
I could be one of the vast majority of people who had some vague notion of what was happening.
What would it be like it I was just another person only somewhat aware of what was going on? Perhaps I would have some sense of disappointment, or relief that the man some thought to be the Messiah was being put to death. But it is likely that the bulk of my attention is focused elsewhere.
Jesus being crucified was big news, of that I have little doubt. But I also know that like today when big things happen most of us are too busy with our own lives to really stop and pay much attention. Try as I might, I cannot help but think that most of us would not find ourselves as a faithful follower to the end, or even part of the angry mob, most of us would be busy preparing for Passover.
The question we have to ask today is, are we too still too busy? Do we still let this day pass with only a vague notion of what happened and why? The events of the day are too important to pass by without reflection. That is our challenge for the day. We must make time today to remember. More time than just reading this, more than a Good Friday service, we must make as much time as we can today to reflect on the Cross. Today Christ died to make us right with God. Surely that is worth our notice.