Good Friday

Friday, April 10

Good Friday


Liturgical readings are available here.

The passion story in John’s gospel concludes stating that they laid Jesus to the tomb. It might seem as an end of everything and the entire narrative (arrest, trial, and execution) leads to death. However, Jesus shows to be a source of life and proves that his is not a death story, but a life story.

While other gospels have women watching from a distance and the disciples absent from the crucifixion scene, John presents the Mother of Jesus and the beloved disciple under the cross. The beloved disciple is designated as son and thus brother of Jesus. The family of Jesus is constituted; the community of believers is born already under the cross.

When Jesus passes, he declares: it is finished and the gospel comments that he handed over his spirit. The Spirit of Jesus is an intimate part of his death and resurrection. Later, during one of the apparitions, Jesus breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (Joh 20:22), but we are to understand that it is already in the moment of dying that Jesus hands his spirit to his followers.

Other gospels talk about signs that accompany the death of Jesus: the Temple curtain is torn, tombs are open and the bodies of the saints come forth. In John’s gospel, the sign is localized in the body of Jesus itself when blood and water come from his side. This sign proofs that Jesus is passing to the Father, but it also references the gift of the Spirit available to his followers through the sacramental channels of baptism and Eucharist.