Why is That Whole Thing So Gorey? (Lent 39-2018)

Good Friday is hard to explain.  To those outside the family of faith, it just doesn’t compute that a God of love would have His Son die at the hands of those He was dying to save.  Add on top of that the sheer bloody nature of the whole Crucifixion event and frankly, it’s easy to see why people wouldn’t want to think about it.

Beyond the easy answer “to fulfill Scripture” (which is, in fact, a good answer) maybe deeper thought reveals another answer to the question, “Why is That Whole Thing So Gorey?”  It would be so much easier to explain and teach if Jesus had marched into Jerusalem, stripped to His skivvies, and just told the Romans to crucify Him.  He could have told people to mock and insult Him.  And while it would still be bloody and insulting, it wouldn’t be nearly as graphic as the events leading up to the Cross.

Why is That Whole Thing So Gorey?  Because it shows us what God thinks of sin.

  • To the man in ISIS who beheads foreign captives, Jesus says, “I suffered and died for that.” 
  • To the woman who is a porn star and parades her sin life all over tabloid TV that used to be called news, Jesus says, “I suffered and died for that, too.” 
  • To the girl who brazenly marches in the women’s march who has aborted babies 3 times as birth control with no remorse whatsoever, Jesus says, “I suffered and died for that.” 
  • To the white man with racist rants on social media, Jesus says, “I suffered and died for that, too.” 

To the abortionist, the bomber, the shooter, the drug pusher, and the pimp…the Crucifixion is what God holds up as His answer to your sin. 

No sin is so great, no possession by any Legion of demons, no horror committed can separate us from the love of God if we’ll only come to Him, repent, confess His lordship, and receive His forgiveness.

That is the reason we do not understand “Good Friday.”  To us, it’s graphic and bloody and gross.  To God, it’s a price-tag displaying for the world to see, the cost of sin—both the big and bloody and the little white lies no one knows but us.

So the next time you read an account of the Crucifixion and you’re bothered by all the suffering and blood, just remember this is the cost of sin. ( Matthew 27:11-44 ; Mark 15:1-32 ; Luke 23:8-38 John 19:1-22

John 19: 10 Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” 12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, … “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. 16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 Here they crucified him, and with him two others– one on each side and Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Food for thought: 

  • In the Life of Pi that we’ve been using to launch our 40 questions Why, the vegetarian Pi is hungry and as he watches the empty banana net swirling in the water, he gets an idea.  “One of the dorados gets very close to the net – Pi realizes his opportunity. He hauls in the netting and wrestles the dorado onto the raft… Pi grabs a hatchet from the raft and strikes the fish over and over again. As the fish begins to die, it flashes all kinds of colors in rapid succession – blue, green, red, gold and violet flicker and shimmer neon-like on its surface. Pi starts back, watching this colorful display in terrified wonder. Finally, the fish ebbs to grey, lifeless. ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry.’”
  • On Holy Week, Good Friday is probably the holiest of days.  Do you see the price tag visible?  Do you know the cost of sin?


For Lent 2018, we’ve been exploring the questions of Pi and Chi (the Greek letter beginning the word Christos, which means Christ, Messiah, the Anointed One). We’ve asked and answered questions “Why?” and  have been reminding ourselves about the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice.  The period of Lent ends shortly, but you can revisit any of these devotionals through the archives ( which began February 14, 2018) and you can enjoy the next series “Simple Truths” by liking Seminary Gal on Facebook or having these devotionals sent to your email box which you can do via the sign-up on my Home page.  Thank you for blessing me with this opportunity to study together the Word of God.


Acknowledging that former years’ devotional series remain popular:

  1. Lent 2013 looked at The Letter to the Romans: Paul’s Masterpiece to reclaim foundations of our Christian heritage and began February 13, 2013.
  2.  A very special and ever popular offering was Lent 2014’s Be Still and Know that I AM God  which can be obtained through the archives beginning in March 2014. 
  3. Lent 2015 began on February 18, 2015 with a series entitled With Christ in the Upper Room: Final Preparations.  We explored what is often called “The Upper Room Discourse” found in John chapters 13-17
  4. ReKindle, the Lent 2016 series, began on February 10, 2016 and encouraged us to rekindle our spiritual lives.
  5. Light: There’s Nothing Like It was the 2017 Lent series and explored this metaphor often used to portray Christ.  It is archived beginning March 1, 2017.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 30, 2018

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