Dum dum daaaaah [spooky music]
Today is Friday 13th, 2013. Superstitious people are somewhat skittish today. What they will be like at 13:13 is anybody’s guess!
It seems to be accepted that Friday 13th is an unlucky day because there were 13 at the Last Supper and Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Some other theories are also available, and the exact origins are lost in the mists of time, but the Easter origins are as good as any.
Except that the idea that the Last Supper and Good Friday are unlucky is based on a very weak understanding of what was going on. The Last Supper is right up there as one of the most poignant moments in Jesus’ ministry. It is the moment when his predictions of his arrest and trial become realities. It is the moment when Jesus washes their feet (including Judas’s feet) to demonstrate servant leadership and humility. It is the moment when Judas leaves the band of disciples and prepares to lead the team of soldiers to arrest Jesus. It is the moment when Jesus took elements from the familiar Passover meal and used them to give us tangible reminders of who he was and what he was doing.
The bread which Jesus used may well have been the piece of unleavened bread that represented the priest or mediator between God and humanity. In the Passover Meal it is traditionally wrapped up and hidden away just as his body would be.
There are several ‘cups’ that are drunk during the meal. The one that is drunk ‘after supper’ is known as the ‘cup of redemption’ and reminds of the sacrificial death of the lambs on that first Passover and the blood that was daubed on the door frames to save the people. It was a cup that represented freedom bought at a price.
There’s no bad luck there. It was premeditated, planned and perfectly provided.
And yes Good Friday is the darkest day in human history. It’s the day when we tried to extinguish the Light of the World. But Jesus had been telling his friends that it was going to happen. He had been explaining that it was necessary to fulfil all that he was saying and doing. And he had been explaining that on the third day he would be raised to life again.
Jesus’ death was tragic. But it is not unlucky. It was planned, premeditated and perfectly provided. If anything it is the best news for humankind that we have ever had.
So instead of being trepidatious today try being confident that Friday 13th reminds you of the extent of God’s love and our reconciliation with him that Jesus achieved in his death.
Be blessed, be a blessing.
A famous art collector is walking through the city when he notices a mangy cat lapping milk from a saucer in the doorway of a store and he does a double take.
He knows that the saucer is extremely old and very valuable, so he walks casually into the store and offers to buy the cat for two dollars.
The store owner replies, “I’m sorry, but the cat isn’t for sale.
The collector says, “Please, I need a hungry cat around the house to catch mice. I’ll pay you twenty dollars for that cat.” And the owner says “Sold,” and hands over the cat.
The collector continues, “Hey, for the twenty bucks I wonder if you could throw in that old saucer. The cat’s used to it and it’ll save me from having to get a dish.”
To which the owner says, “Sorry buddy, but that’s my lucky saucer. So far this week I’ve sold sixty-eight cats.”