Almost everyone knows that Good Friday is the day on which Christians remember how Jesus died on the cross. His crucifixion is accepted as an historical fact by almost everyone.
It’s also a myth, i.e. a story which is full of meaning for how we live. And that myth is a problem for our culture which is so obsessed with winning. The counter-intuitive declaration of the Christian gospels is that it was by dying that Jesus saved us. But we have a hard time believing that. What we strive for is living, not dying. We love winners, not losers.
Consider how politicians behave. They will put off making decisions about our state’s horrible financial situation until after the election, because they fear that if they do the right thing, the voters won’t vote for them and they’ll lose the election. That is, they will die politically. We all do it. We hesitate to do the right thing because we fear it will kill our business or upset our spouses or endanger a friendship. Good Friday isn’t just about Jesus. It’s about us too. It’s about finding the courage to do the right thing even when it may mean losing an election, a sale an attaboy from an admiring public. That willingness to die is what we need, to my mind, in order for us to get our nation back on a healthy footing.