while i do not belong to any christian (or pagan, or buddhist) church, the influence of my liberal lutheran upbringing has always been palpable. for that reason, i cannot ignore that today is good friday. i’d like to offer some thoughts, influenced by the idea of the jesus myth, where jesus is seen as an archetypal hero and the question whether or not he lived in the flesh is of little relevance.
jesus as a person as well as an important religious figure has always been a bit of a mystery to me, and i cannot say that i understand – beyond the superficially obvious – the reason and manner of his death, and how it all connects to the idea of resurrection and eternal life. however, it is an intriguing story and i keep coming back to it.
on good friday, jesus chooses to let himself be arrested, goes through a questionable trial, again chooses to ignore a way out that is offered to him, is publicly humiliated, and dies in torture. he manages to be serene through most of this but there are times when he breaks. throughout, he shows love and acceptance to his fellows.
as i am contemplating this story, i keep coming back to the idea of “riding into the eye of the storm”. he would have had so many outs: he could have told his father that this was just too much for him, he could have hidden from his prosecutors, he could have accepted the offer from the judge to weasel himself out of it. maybe he could even have done what his mockers suggested and summoned angels to help him. but he chose to ride it out, to ride into the trial, the humility, the pain and suffering.
this hero did not stand down. he had a hunch he knew what he needed to do. he had a hunch that going through this would be a good idea. a hunch – not a guarantee. but he listened to his inner voice and went for it, literally come hell or high water.
maybe that’s one of the ways in which we are asked to follow him, to emulate him. to not stand down in the face of pain and suffering, to follow this inner voice that says, “do what you know is right, and all will be well.”
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