A Good Day to Die.
March 21, 2008 by Pablo S.
The underlying theme of Easter is death and resurrection. And today, “Good Friday” Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus at Calvary . That name, “Good Friday” is a very interesting and philosophical one, quite far in spirit from the current message of Christianity about Jesus’ death. Why is it called “Good Friday” and not “Sad Friday”, or “Sinners Friday”, or “It’s-your-fault Friday”?
Much before Jesus’ time, death and resurrection was the main theme of the Ancient Mysteries, so we can look at their philosophy for a deeper insight. From a symbolic point of view, the cross was always a symbol of matter. The deity who was put to death was a symbol of our spiritual nature. In Christianity, the Christ is this same symbol. When we are born, our spiritual nature is “crucified” in our body and dies, but only to be “resurrected” full of glory—when we work properly.
There is also a very interesting interpretation of this universal archetypal image on the psychological level. In order to be resurrected (in a new glorified being) we have to die first. Nothing new can appear if the old doesn’t die, psychologically speaking. And most of us don’t want to die. We cling to our attachments, to our memories, to our hopes—that is to our (artificial) self-identity. We are not a culture that encourages detachment from the things that identify us. For the most part life is a matter of acquiring more stuff. Not only material but also psychological stuff. This is the case even for those who try to tread the “spiritual path”. Many times we see this as a process of acquisition—acquisition of more knowledge, more experience, more virtues, more understanding, etc… Very little emphasis is usually placed on the idea of dying to the known, externally and internally. But as Jesus said, if you are wealthy and full of possessions you cannot get to the Kingdom of Heaven. We have to become like children, divested of all possessions, even at the psychological level. And that is not enough, according to Jesus we must die and be born again, to be able to reach that Kingdom.
Of course, he is not referring to a physical death and re-birth, but “to be born of water [of life] and of the Spirit.” The act of Jesus dying physically on the cross means for us to “crucify” our material self and be “resurrected” as spiritual beings. The road to Calvary is then our daily life.
So, how are we going to celebrate this Easter weekend?