“Today is a good day to die.”
That’s the stunning opening line from Keifer Sutherland in a classic movie called Flatliners, a terse plot trailing a group of medical students who induce death and bring each other back to explore the other side of the grave. Unfortunately, each “resurrection” drags back a demon from their dark side. The students fall one by one to a personification of their own blackness.
I wonder what Jesus felt when he awoke to roosters crowing on crucifixion day. Did he whisper, “Today is a good day to die?” My twelve year old asked me why they call it good friday. Good question, right?
Totally unlike the flatlining med students, Jesus wasn’t performing an experiment. He wasn’t exploring, he was conquering. He plunged into “to hell and back,” just like they did—but he left all the bile and death on the other side. And he didn’t stop there.
Dutch Sheets once said something like, “Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we didn’t have to. He went first so we could follow him.” It’s true. Jesus invites… no, commands, each of us to take up our cross, to lie down and die with him so we can march with him out of the grave. When we die with Jesus, we leave our old self six feet under, along with our damnation, our destruction, our guilt, our shame our psychic bile. No strings attached. And we’re raised to new, vital, expanding life.
“I have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
So yeah, everyone. TGIF.