Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday Reflection from Sabeel's Contemporary Way of the Cross

From Sabeel's Contemporary Way of the Cross:

"The Arabic word for Good Friday is jum'a al hazini which means "Sad Friday." Sad Friday denotes the situation of Christ on that Friday two thousand years ago: Christ had been humiliated, condemned, and crucified as a criminal. His disciples were all disheartened, scattered to the four winds, and broken in spirit. They had abandoned their Lord and Master, who seemed to have betrayed their hopes of a glorious kingdom which was heralded by his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. It represented the depth of despair for the apparent victory of the forces of evil, oppression, and hypocrisy. The Romans, the foreign occupiers, had collaborated with the local political and religious leadership to crush the fresh voice of the prophet from Nazareth. All hope seemed to have been abandoned.

Palestinians are living today in the "Sad Friday" period of their history. Never before did their situation seem as desperate as it is now. People correctly point out that their current situation is worse than it ever has been. Even the most optimistic Palestinian is now feeling a deep sense of depression and despair, as what looked like the beginnings of statehood, freedom, and self-determination, has been turned into an abysmal combination of Bantustans and a silent international community.

Yet precisely in this dark hour of despair, the message of Easter needs to be proclaimed again: Christ will not remain in the tomb, nor will evil and oppression have the last word. Christ rose again on the third day with a glorious triumph over the forces of evil and darkness, and over death itself proclaiming to the whole world a new era and the victory of good over evil. The message of Easter, for Palestinians, as well as for the poor and oppressed everywhere, is that God is sovereign in the affairs of the world. No matter how dark things appear to be on "Sad Friday," Easter is coming and with it the promise, hope and certainty of resurrection, a new beginning, and the victory of life over death."

--Jonathan Kuttab, board member of Sabeel

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