The Crucifixion, by Theophanes the Cretan, at the Holy Monastery of Stavronikita, Mount Athos
When one observes Good Friday, in whatever way one chooses to remember it, we are reminded of the difference that separates Christianity from the other great faith traditions. Their founders went through trials and tribulations, but none of them ended up as badly as Rabbi Jesus of Nazareth. For the earthly career of Jesus collapsed in utterly tragic circumstances – the false spring of hope and acclaim described in the Palm Sunday liturgy, followed by the intrigues of jealous religious authorities, false accusation, blundering Roman authorities, cowardly disciples and the agonizing death commemorated today.
It has been observed that Christianity and Christians stumble when they focus too much on the Resurrection without the Cross, or too much on the Cross without the Resurrection. Something to remember as we go approach the end of Holy Week in 2011 A.D.