It’s Good Friday- the day we remember Jesus’ on the cross. In today’s reading we will read about his journey to it, and then tomorrow we will read about his crucifixion, death, and burial. What’s interesting about Luke is that he spends more time on the social, political, and religious events that lead up to the cross, than he does with the actual cross. In this, I believe, he continues to expose the brokenness and corruption of this world’s systems. Everybody wants him dead, but no one wants to own the decision, so back and forth he goes. They want authority without responsibility.
This is why Jesus says in the upper room, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Only in Luke does he call it the new covenant. Luke is particularly concerned with the dismantling of the world’s systems, systems of empire, dominion, imperialism, exclusion and exploitation. Here in this upper room it is time for a new system, a new way of being. And that system will not be one of lording power over people, but lifting power under people. It will be a system were we give of ourselves to strengthen another, not empower ourselves by taking from another. Because of this, it is a system that will be initiated by the sacrifice of a lamb, not the enthroning of a king.
As Jesus’ body breaks open, and his blood (that is, his life) is poured out, it will be spilled onto the world. The world will be surrounded by, immersed in, might we even say baptized by the very life, the very energy, of Christ broken open on the cross. The new covenant is cut, and in it we are drenched in God’s grace.
It is finished.