BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day
© John Denney 9 April 2004
I remember the time when you had to wait a whole year before you could eat them. Hot Cross Buns, that is. You only ever ate them on Good Friday. Mind you, it was when they really were one a penny, or maybe your Mum baked them fresh and hot. My Mum was Scottish, so the buns were much spicier than the English variety you can buy today. Or buy any day of the year, really. Such a pity, but then Easter eggs have been on sale since Boxing Day! Christmas crackers soon, I guess.
And more and more people work through Good Friday, just as if it were any other day of the year. Shops will be open, offices and factories will be busy. Cheap holiday flights will be taking off as fast as the airports can handle them. Fewer and fewer people give much thought to the significance of the Friday before Easter Sunday.
For Christians, it’s the most solemn day of the year. We remember the physical suffering that Jesus was willing to undergo on the cross of crucifixion. We remember the awful spiritual loneliness that he experienced, as, for the first time in all eternity, he was separated from his heavenly Father. He even cried out My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
And we remember how most of his followers stayed away, afraid that they might be next in line for one of the most hideous deaths ever devised by man. They turned their backs on him. On this day, we remember the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, taking the blame for all our sin and wrongdoing. Those of us who claim Jesus as our Saviour and our Lord have been put right with God. The wall of sin that separated us from God has been demolished. That’s why we call this day “Good” Friday.
So as you eat your hot cross bun, take a moment to consider the cross marked on it. It’s a reminder of the terrible things that happened that first Good Friday. But it’s also a reminder that because of what took place that day, we can be redeemed from our sins, reconciled with God, ransomed from everything that has captivated us, set free into the full and meaningful life that God wants for us.
On this day of all days, “TGIF” - Thank God it’s Friday!