I love Holy Week. It gives us the opportunity to join with Christians all over the world in preparing for Easter. To help us make the most of Holy Week I’ll be writing some Harry Potter Holy Week reflections. Today we reflect on Good Friday.
I always feel a little weird for how much I like Good Friday. For years I had the opportunity to preach at our church’s Good Friday service and I absolutely loved preparing that sermon. More than any other day during Holy Week, Good Friday is quite the hurricane of emotions.
We feel crushed when we think about Jesus hanging on the cross.
We feel loved knowing that Jesus died for us.
We feel guilty knowing that our sin necessitated the cross.
We feel hopeful when we think about Sunday.
Good Friday should mix up all of these emotions because it is easily one of the most significant days in the history of the universe. Jesus was beaten and crucified so that the entirety of creation could be set right.
While Dumbledore’s death didn’t have as far reaching of an impact, it still has a lot of parallels with Jesus’ death.
Both Dumbledore and Jesus knew their deaths were coming.
Both Dumbledore and Jesus were betrayed by someone close to them (Draco not Snape).
Both Dumbledore and Jesus inspired their followers following their deaths (and Jesus’ resurrection).
I was late to the Harry Potter party so I’m pretty sure I knew that Dumbledore was going to die. Even though I knew Dumbledore was going to die, I was still impacted by his death. Not because I had a special affinity for Dumbledore, but because any sacrificial death reminds me of Jesus.
So many of our favorite stories feature a character sacrificing himself or herself for others.
Spock sacrifices himself to save the Enterprise.
Katniss volunteers as tribute to save her sister.
Obi-Wan sacrificed himself to be a greater help to Luke.
So many stories feature a sacrificial character because the greatest story revolves around a savior who sacrificed himself for everyone. We are moved when Spock, Katniss, Obi-Wan and Dumbledore sacrifice themselves because they remind us of Jesus. Even people who don’t know Jesus are drawn to sacrifice because God planted it deep within all of our souls as part of his redemptive story.
So it’s OK to have a mix of emotions on Good Friday. We can go from sad to grateful to guilty to worshipful; all of those emotions are valid. Regardless of our emotional tumult, we need to land on the reality that this Friday is Good. Not because of our emotional response, but because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross.