Good Friday Meditation: “Who Would You Die For?”

18 April 2014

The Rev. Todd R. Goddard, pastor

East Rochester and West Walworth: Zion United Methodist Churches

 

I grew up a preacher’s kid

in the Jesus Christ Superstar era.

The youth group put on a production of Superstar

in the sanctuary one year during Holy Week.

Though I sang in the chorus,

I knew every word.

I still know most of them

and have been know to sing them loudly in the shower or car.

It is interesting how culture influences faith and belief.

 

Over the past few years,

I’ve dived deep into studies of the Passion,

as presented in the Gospels.

My experiences in Jerusalem and the Holy Lands

together with the media I’ve consumed on the topic

has truly enriched my own spiritual walk,

and hopefully,

the walk of others who have joined me.

 

Every time I experience the Passion of Jesus,

my heart mourns, yet,

it is tempered with hindsight

and a strong conviction of faith

of what happens Easter morning.

We’ve heard the Passion read on Sunday

and again here today.

The question that keeps coming to mind is

“Who Would You Die For?”

 

We know,

we’ve been told,

that God sent us His Son,

not to condemn the world,

but that the world might be saved through him.

Sadly, our ancestors killed God’s Son, Jesus Christ,

as we have just heard.

God’s Son was willing to die for us,

so, it’s only logical to ask,

who would we die for?

 

Who would we die for?

 

Most of us would jump up

and say we’d die for a spouse,

a child,

a family member.

Of course we would.

Individuals who serve in paramilitary or military organizations

are trained to give their lives for their buddies, partner, or innocent bystanders;

but only after ensuring personal safety.

Individual acts of heroism are rare,

known only because of the medal or media attention they attract.

The answer to this question might also be age related,

or related to one’s relative health.

At every stage of life

there are circumstances where death may be the least, worst thing.

Would you die for a stranger?

Would you die for two strangers?

Twelve?

Two million?

Seven billion?

Indeed, would you die to save the world?

 

The willingness for our God

to give His Son

to save the world

only begins to pry open the revelation

of the depth and breadth of God’s

mercy

and love.

He died for every saint and every sinner.

He died for every sin.

The blood of the cross

takes away the sins of the world,

this proves God’s love for us.

 

Dearly beloved,

on this Good Friday,

made Good only through suffering, shame and death,

if Christ was willing to die for all,

who are we willing to die for?

Amen.