A shining illustration of ultimate love

About two thousand years ago, when a young Galilean walked the streets of Nazareth preaching a new way of life, He emerged a hero, among the poor He chose to serve. But this popularity would bring Him the most painful and shameful death on that fateful Friday, with which was born Good Friday.

On Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, Christians recall with profound sadness the death of their Messiah, Jesus Christ, on a cross in Mount Calvary and observe it with fast, penance and prayers.  

Good Friday is also the day when the divine plan to bring salvation to all humanity, which had hitherto a broken relationship with God as a result of sin, was carried out. Hence the term “Good” Friday, in spite of the sorrow attached to the day.

The central theme surrounding Jesus’s crucifixion for the atonement of sins of men is rather paradoxical. For, it certainly does not seem right that an innocent man had to pay the price for the sins of humanity.

A lay theologian from Belfast, C S Lewis, in his book ‘Mere Christianity’ explains, “When one person has got himself into a hole, the trouble of getting him out usually falls on a kind friend.”

Man had indeed got into a rut with his sins of disobedience to God. He had become a rebel who had to lay down his arms if he ever desired to reconcile himself with God.

“This process of surrender or repentance,” as Lewis refers to, could not be made by an imperfect man. Thus, God takes human form to walk man through the process of reconciliation.

Lewis puts it, “If God became man, our human nature, which can suffer and die, would be amalgamated with God’s nature in one person and then that person could help us.

He could surrender His will and suffer and die, because He was man and He could do it perfectly because He was God. And that is the sense in which He pays our debt, and suffers for us what He himself need not suffer at all.”

Jesus’s crucifixion, one of the most paramount events of all history and the root of the Christian faith, is a grim reminder to man of the ugliness of sin and the price that has to be paid for its nullification.

Jesus, who lived as a leader, was crucified as a crusader, died with heroism and left His mark of love indelibly as a refulgent beacon for His followers.

Through His death on the cross, Jesus indeed proved His words, “There is no greater love than this that one gives one’s life for one’s friends.”

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