Notes and Confessions Lent 2022 Good Friday
There was a time, not so long ago, when my mind was on Jesus this day. Only on Jesus.
There was a time, not so long ago, when, had someone brought up the atrocities this day instigated against Jewish neighbors, I might have innocently waved it off with a "yes, that was terrible, but we don't do that anymore, we know better now."
But if I've learned anything in the last decade, it's that I'm more naive than I thought--and I thought I was pretty naive. I've learned that there is so much more to consider on this day.
I've learned we do not know better now. I've learned we do still do that.
I marvel at the Jewish friends I have, who seem to love me and accept me despite my Jesus loving ways. Sure, they might know it's #notallChristians but I would not blame them one bit if they didn't keep a wary eye on me. Raised in Christendom, in Christian hegemony, I'm sure I have, at times, given them reason to hold me at arms length. Just as I doubtlessly say racist things without meaning to, because white supremacy is so strong in the culture, I've doubtlessly said anti-Semitic things because I'm the inheritor of anti-Semitism.
Jesus died for my sins? Maybe so. But how many have died because of my sins?
Honestly, I don't know what to do with today. What to do with the Gospel of John. What to do with centuries and centuries of theology that has justified Good Friday murders.
It's right there from the start, in the story of the garden arrest, isn't it? Peter lashes out with a sword in defense of Jesus. Why wouldn't I expect that any number of people would do the same after having heard the story?
I'd like to say that surely the writer of the Gospel of John (the Gospel most often quoted in anti-Semitic literature) would be appalled at this heritage, this legacy of the story they told. But I can't know that, can I? I have no way into the mind of someone who wrote 2000 years ago.
So, here I am, this Good Friday, unable to deny my Christianity any more than I can deny my whiteness, not sure how to even talk about Jesus anymore. The figure who has given me comfort, encouragement, yes, salvation, is also at the center of centuries of hateful crime.
Ah, Holy Jesus. How hast thou offended?
Better we should ask, how do we stop offending?