God has been alive, active, and powerful for eons, even before eternity itself, but on Good Friday God didn’t just die, it was also the moment He began to actually, in one sense, truly . . . exist? The moment God died the way we die, all of a sudden He could be alive in a way that actually mattered to cosmic bugs like you and me. No longer just a pagan style, tit-for-tat, “means to an end”, little “g” god, but an actual companion through the great painful mysteries of life.
If there’s any confusion here, let me shoot straight: I have little use for an all powerful deity who chooses to experience the brutality of his world from a box seat with a bag of chips and a TallBoy.
I just don’t know how to justify the God who’d force me watch my sweetest aunt Barbara die of cancer, my joyfully boisterous friend Larry painfully waste away in a hospital bed, or allow me to have so many wordless conversations with people I love who live with the ghosts of their lost children.
There is almost zero chance I can have a meaningful relationship with a God like that.
Sure, I can bend the knee and say the magic words. I can sign on the dotted line. I can pray. I can serve. Maybe this God could even be my Lord, but not my savior, because we could never be friends. Unless . . .
Unless there would be One who is willing to step down from the stars, descend the stairs of his penthouse and fellowship with our sufferings. I can love a God like that because while I can only make deals with one who heals, I can actually give my heart to one who FEELS my wounds.
And this is what I truly believe: God must be all powerful expressly because he also must bear the weight of all the suffering that has ever transpired. I’m sure this makes him both the most joyful and sorrowful being in the multiverse.
The God who hangs between the earth and sky. Taking responsibility for all of it. The whole darned thing. Our successes and failures. Pain and elation. Honor and humiliation. Love and loss. Absorbing it into his God-flesh right there at the intersection of all things, appropriately upon a cross.
Certainly this is who He has always been. God has always loved us, but in Jesus, the strength of his weakness, we can now fully love him back.
And maybe it’s why this ugliest of days is also “good”, because Jesus redeemed the whole world on Sunday, but on Friday, He kind-of “redeemed” God.
So with this is mind, I have curated a Good Friday playlist of songs for your “Good” Friday that I think speaks to this idea of the God who suffers not just for us but with us.
John Mark’s Good Friday Playlist
(Spoiler alert! I’ve added a couple of my tunes as well to this Good Friday playlist).
U2 – “Until The End Of The World”
If you liked his Good Friday playlist, you might also enjoy Andy Squyres’s Ash Wednesday playlist.