So isn’t it enough to believe that Christ was just a good man, a moral teacher, the classic victim of a cruel injustice? You can’t do it. Try as you might, none of the Good Friday story makes an iota of difference in the world without the Resurrection. Not just because without it Jesus is just another wronged man in a flawed world. But because it is only the shock of the empty tomb on Sunday morning that helps us to make sense of what happened on Friday.
It leads us to understand that all that suffering and dying was not the result of some horrible persecution of some man by isolated groups of Jews or Romans or former friends and followers. But that it was a man who represented all humanity who was the victim. That we were brought in that shocking moment of earthly suffering into complete union with the creator of it all — when in “strange and awful strife, met together death and life”, as the Easter hymn puts it. The idea that God himself suffered with us so we could all be saved is the central mystery of the story we remember this weekend. Read more