This coming Friday is that day in the Christian calendar known as Good Friday. Why it was termed Good is unclear.
Some believe the name may have come from the Middle English phrase – God’s Friday, which later got corrupted to “Good Friday.”
Others suggest the term “good” may have come from the use of “good” to mean “holy” in Old English. Wherever the truth lies, Good Friday remains the paradox of Christianity.
It represents the tragic death of Jesus on the Cross upon which He was hang by His enemies. Yet, it represents the triumph over sin and evil that brought hope to a wicked world.
As I have reflected over the current events in our nation, I could not help but imagine how the paradox of Good Friday would help us resolve our political impasse.
On both sides are men and women who, perhaps like Jesus, feel justly aggrieved because of being wrongly mistreated by their “enemies,” real or perceived.
The desire to avenge and revenge is compelling. When His enemies came to arrest Him on that Thursday night, Jesus willingly surrendered Himself to them. As they tried Him over fake charges, He remained silent.
They mocked and jeered Him, but He maintained His peace.
Hanging up the cross on Friday, they played loto for His only earthly possession – His robe.
But He looked down at them in pity. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” so He prayed for them.
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Was this weakness or strength? Some of us would readily declare it the epitome of cowardice – the fear to stand up against your opponents and show them who is truly in power.
Some would consider it the fear to speak truth to power – the failure to defend your rights. Yet, it was in this paradox of strength in weakness that etched that Friday into history, becoming the Good Friday.
As Jesus bowed His head in death, one of the guards involuntarily submitted, “Surely this was the Son of God!”
It was through this weakness that He was greatly exalted and given a name above every other name, making Jesus the most respected Man in all of history – even by those who do not believe in Him.
For example, every date in the world is referenced on Him.
As I have listened to and watched the protagonists in the current contest, I have wondered who of them has any desire or what it takes to rise to the glories of history.
Is it our Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua? Or could it be Baba? Might the mantle fall on young Kimani Ichungwa, or would the trophy go with Moses Kuria? Judge for yourself, but I have serious doubts. None of these great gentlemen display any sense of paradoxical leadership. They are sharp, yes, but extremely predictable.
Their ambitions and desires are rather obvious. They possibly believe they are bold in their words and courageous in their actions, but it is in this bravado that they display lower order leadership.
That is why almost every man, woman, and child on the street has come out to give them a piece of advice on the dangers of their words and actions.
Unfortunately, because of their blindspot, they cannot see the plight of the downtrodden who they purport to represent.
It is why they use the poor to achieve their own ends – to disrupt our lives or invade private property for sheep and goats.
In contrast, Jesus, in humility, sacrificed His life for the weak and the poor on that Good Friday.
Truth be told, those quick to reach to the scabbard have never grown into greatness. The halls of fame archive only the names of those who have learned the secret of turning the other cheek.
It is such, that win the Nobel Peace Prize. But if your tongue is ever weaponised to tear down and destroy others, it is unlikely that you will sit with true nobles.
That is why Jesus commanded Peter to put back his sword. We too plead with our leaders: Please, sheath your swords before this Good Friday. Greatness awaits whoever shall heed this call.