Today is Good Friday. When I was younger I was confused by this because what was so good about Jesus dying? Shouldn’t it be called Bad Friday? Over the years, I have grown in my understanding of the gospel, and how the bad news is what makes the good news truly good. The bad news of my sin necessitates the badness — the excruciating pain and suffering — of the cross, the cross that is my cross. But the story doesn’t end there. When all hope is lost, Jesus willingly takes my place. And in that Great Exchange, something so terrible becomes something wondrous, beautiful, and Good with a capital “G.”
One of my favorite parts from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe captures this in the way that only C.S. Lewis can:
…”though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward.”
-Chapter 15, “Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time”
I was moved by this video Passion City Church made for their Good Friday Service a few years back*. Thankful for the creative people who can communicate the power of the cross to make Death itself start working backward, and turn bad news into truly good news.
*They have several other Good Friday videos that are just as moving.
If you’ve been at Gracepoint for a little while, or for…many whiles, you know that at the top of Pastor Ed’s recommended reading list are books by C.S. Lewis. For example, Pastor Ed mentioned Miracles this past Sunday, and so I know several people have picked that up this week.
Maybe you’ve tried to tackle C.S. Lewis, but have been daunted by the jump from fiction like The Chronicles of Narnia, and allegory like The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce to some of the heavier hitters.
For all you (us) visual learners, I want to share a resource I found out about from my friend Sarah S. from Gracepoint Berkeley. There are 50 C.S. Lewis doodles on YouTube made by an account called…C.S. Lewis Doodles. These are super helpful in understanding the flow of his arguments, and giving visuals to hold on to in your mind. I’m looking forward to using these to help me in my personal study of his works. Thank you, Sarah!
Here are the two videos on “The Grand Miracle” from Miracles, just in time for Good Friday and Easter.
Do you have any cool reading resources to share?
Sunday at Gracepoint Berkeley church‘s college worship service, Pastor Ed Kang gave some suggestions for ways to make the most of the precious gift of winter break that college students have. When I was in college, I definitely did not appreciate and consider the reality that the time in college is the ONLY time I would ever have this gift of a month-long vacation!
Among some of the suggestions, Pastor Ed recommended some books. First, he suggested winter break would be a great time to read through the entire Bible. Then he recommended Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, and Miracles, all by C.S. Lewis. And if that was too intimidating, to start with The Screwtape Letters.
It brought back memories to my freshman year of college a “few” years ago, when Pastor Ed issued the same challenge to start building up my faith by reading C.S. Lewis books.
Which C.S. Lewis books are your favorite? Which ones are you going to tackle this winter break?