Great and Good Friday

Our faith is a faith of paradox.

Today the crowd choose Barabbas instead of Jesus. Yet the name Barabbas means “Son of the Father.” The crowd does not choose Jesus, the true Son of the Father. Barabbas, the gospel tells us, was an insurrectionist, a political creature. The kingdom of Jesus is spiritual, and people cannot discern it, they cannot see the true Son of the Father.

The mob cries out, “His blood be upon us and upon our children!” Asking for a curse? God has made it a blessing, for he poured out his blood upon us, we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and are redeemed every day anew by the Blood of Christ, in whom we achieve Communion, for forgiveness and life. What was meant as a curse God has made an infinite blessing.

Pilate, on the other hand, declares, “I am innocent of the blood of this just man.” But he is guilty of his sentence of death. Pilate refuses to share in the blessing of the Blood of the Lord, and like Peter, would hear the words of the one who wished to reject the passion for salvation, “Get behind me, Satan!” Of course, we must not cry out, “Crucify him!” but we must be willing to accept the chalice of the Lord, as Jesus asked James and John, “Can you drink the cup which I will drink? Will you be baptized with the baptism with which I will be baptized?”

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras