For practicing and non-practicing alike, for believers in God and believers in morality, for spiritual seekers and religious followers alike, let us remember today as Good Friday.
A good man who challenged the status quo was today crucified by the forces of evil for daring to speak the truth. A radical prophet who threatened the Jewish political parties in control, particularly the hypocritical Pharisees, was given a criminal's death on a cross. An innocent man, puppet to some, God to others, prophet to many more, and a threat to a few entrenched members of Jewish and Roman society that saw any threat to their power base as a direct attack, he was flogged, persecuted, and died a horrific death of which torturous might be the kindest definition we could assign to the whole proceedings.
This is the irony of Good Friday. The irony that, for many Christians, this man who was Father, Son, and Holy Spirit defeated the forces of evil and rose again. This God/Man died so that we should not perish and instead have eternal life.
This is the irony of Good Friday. The irony that, even for those who see him as merely a prophet, this radical rabbi who spoke the truth despite the consequences serves a both a stern warning for those who would speak against the forces of money and power and an uplifting message that his death became a victory in the end when it empowered those who came later to take up his message and, metaphorically, bear their own cross.
This is the irony of Good Friday. The irony that even those who downright question the idea of any God or any theistic presence, or see the divine in every human and living being can understand that to do good requires skill, dexterity, grace, wisdom, and poise. But these character traits only go so far, and when the evil hearts of men turn against any fellow person and their own sense of self is threatened, they often try to destroy the offending party or parties.
Such is the irony of Good Friday.
And from this theist, may I say,