Today is called 'Good Friday', but of course that is a bit of an ironic title, since it was certainly not a very good day for the one who brought about our redemption. Jesus suffered what unfortunately has been all too common throughout human history: intense (Christians would say THE most intense, because of its spiritual implications) torture at the hands of those who viewed violence as the vehicle by which power and order are maintained. While we recognize as Christians that Christ's death and resurrection are ultimately the most good news of all, we might also do well to take time, especially today, to reflect on what Christ's death has to say about the way we live and treat each other as human beings. Here is a quote from George Hunsinger, a theologian and professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, that I find quite valuable in this regard (thanks to Jeff Keuss for the quote!):
"The Christ who died in the throes of torture could not be held by the bonds of death. On Easter day, God said yes to Jesus and no to torture, yes to life and no to death. The means of terror were forever banned as instruments of peace. They did not have the last word for Jesus; they must not tempt Christians today. Jesus allowed himself to taste torture and death to disclose how abhorrent they are in God's sight. He terminates the resort to torture just as he brings an end to the law (Rom 10.4). His resurrection manifests a humility more resilient than vengeance, a faithfulness more powerful than fear, and a love that triumphs over death. The resurrection points to a hidden divine cunning in history, the power of an invincible forgiveness that will not rest until it reclaims the world."