Artículo en español
This Good Friday meditation comes from Devocionales 2021, a book of devotionals produced by the Movimiento de Mujeres Anabautistas Haciendo Teología desde América Latina (MTAL, Movement of Anabaptist Women doing Theology from Latin America). The daily devotionals can also be found on the Libro Devocional MTAL Facebook page.
"He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world." — 1 John 2:2 (NRSV)
Good Friday is an opportune time to reflect on the act of love that Jesus performed for us by giving us the resources we need to extend his love in service and solidarity with others in the world.
In this time of countless deaths and hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we may be tempted to ask: "Is God angry?" I say, "No." As I recall the text of 1 John 2:2, I think of the great love of God the Father and the free-will offering of himself that Jesus made out of love. This act was not to appease God's wrath, as atoning sacrifice traditionally suggests, but rather was as a free-will action of offering his life for us — taking pity on our miserable existence far from the God of life.
We also remember that "God so loved the world that he sent his only Son so that all who believe in him might not go astray but might find the way to fullness of life" (paraphrased from John 3:16). Jesus was moved to mercy and taught us what a meaningful life is, freeing us from the emptiness that produces death in every way. To be separated from the Father implies death.
Jesus is our propitiation, the forgiveness of sins. That is to say, Jesus frees us from living a life apart from God. He offered his life, but first, he taught us how to free ourselves from selfishness and turn towards the new way of love, reconciliation, and work for justice and devotion to the Father. By his blood, we have been ransomed, received forgiveness of our sins, and are sealed with his Holy Spirit.
That is why it is worthwhile, during this special time, to remind ourselves of the wonderful news that has brought us salvation; and it is not only for us but also for the whole world.
In the person of Jesus, we will always find hope for our total salvation. Oh, what wonderful love that has brought us peace!
Let us pray: Our hearts and minds are filled with gratitude for the sacrifice Jesus made for all people.
Editor's Note: The author of this devotional is Ofelia García Hernández, a pastor and missionary in Mexico. She now lives in Santa Rosa Xochiac, in the metropolitan area of Mexico City, where, together with her husband, she shares God's love in the neighborhood. She is a cofounder of and is active regionally with the Movement of Anabaptist Women Doing Theology from Latin America (MTAL).