Good Friday (Is 52:13-53:12;Ps 31:2,6,12-13,15-16,17,25;Heb 4:14-16, 5:7-9;Jn 18:1-19:42) Why do we call today Good? We have a most peculiar way of celebrating. We have entered in silence, without music. The church is stark and empty, stripped of all its usual furnishings and festive decorations. We fast – deprive ourselves of food and drink – as though to punish ourselves. The ministers wear red today. But in times past we wore black as though for a funeral. Some one has died, and we are tempted to focus on the blood and gore, to give ourselves over to morbid fascination with the horrifying details. And still we call today Good! “Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, While we thought of him as stricken, As one smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our offenses,. Crushed for our sins, Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, By his stripes we were healed.” (Is 53:4-5) Today is not sad. It is Awe-full! Filled with awe. The world is in shock. It holds it breath, suspended. The Lord of Glory mounts the Throne of Glory. We stand silent, struck dumb in wonder and amazement. We fast not to punish ourselves. We fast to FOCUS! We are somber. The sun and moon hide their face. Scripture tells us, He has taken captivity captive. (cf Eph 4:8) He has canceled the bond against us, nailing it to the cross (Col 2:14) The indictment against you and me: one’s adultery and fornication, another’s anger, another’s lying and theft, yet another’s racist hatred, and another’s bitterness and unforgiveness. Canceled Free! Forgiven! Nailed to the Wood of the Tree of Life and put to death by the Author of Life. Yes! We call today Good! Had the powers of the world understood, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory (1Cor 2:8). For He has triumphed. In the words of the great Latin hymn: Sing my tongue the glorious battle, Sing the winning of the fray. Now above the Cross, our trophy Sound the high, triumphal lay. Tell how Christ, the world’s Redeemer, As a victim won the day.