Good Friday

The thing that struck me most in Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Jesus is his account of Christ’s executioners on the morning of the day of the crucifixion, Good Friday as we now call it.
He depicts these powerful men, the “football stars” of their day, if you will, getting ready for what promises to be a big day. They chow down at breakfast much like today’s athletes on game day. After all, they are going to need their strength.
Of course, before the day is over, they are going to get a lesson in true strength. And it has nothing to do with physical prowess. Or what you ate for breakfast.
That’s what is on my mind as I contemplate another Good Friday. And lament that it is not the same as when I was young.
Then, the world seemed to stop for three hours in the afternoon. Many would spend that entire time in church, as I did more than once, usually seated or kneeling next to my Nanny, my mom’s mom. In my late teens it was my duty to drive her there. I confess I did not like it. But now I wish I could go back and experience it one more time.
Stores would even close from noon to 3 in those days. And the few that stayed open were deserted.
When we four Ackerman children were tykes (the fifth, my brother Bobby had yet to be born) our mom would have us color Easter eggs during this time, first cautioning us that we needed to remain as quiet as we could because this is when Jesus suffered and died on the cross.
We took her words seriously and worked in silence, dipping hard boiled eggs in the cups of red, yellow, blue, purple and green water, writing our names on some with the wax crayon that came with our Paas Easter Egg Coloring Kit.
They were good, those Good Fridays. Really good.

Ed Ackerman