, ,

Good Friday

When we hear the story of the Last Supper we know already what will happen and what comes next: the martyrdom, His death, and resurrection.  Of course it was not that way for His disciples when He had the meal with them.  He was speaking in riddles to them.  He kept them guessing about the future.  Every event that followed was another riddle: Gethsemane, the sleep that overcame them, the capture, the flight.  None of them was able to stand by Him to the end.  Of course not, none of us would be able to maintain our footing in such circumstances.  How could a person at that time ever foresee that the last evening meal would not only be followed by the first morning meal of the Resurrected One, and that He from now on would give Himself, day in day out, in bread and wine, to every human being who hungers and thirsts for His presence?

At the end of His life on earth, Christ indicates with an unusual word that this end is the beginning of a completely new life.  Of all the disciples only John was present as witness when this last word sounded on the cross: “It is fulfilled.”  He is the only evangelist who wrote this word from the cross down.  What is so special in these words?

Christ here used an expression that originated in the old mysteries: tetelestai.  It means something like: the goal has been reached. (telete was the ancient word for initiation.  The place where the initiation took place was called in Eleusis: telesterion.)  The expression tetelestai is no finality, but an indication of a completely new life.  From then on the initiate stood on the other side of the threshold and was at home with the Gods.  From the other side he could order life on earth according to the hermetic principle: As above, so below.  The holy order of heaven had to be reflected in life on earth.

Where was Christ after He had spoken His last words?  He too crossed a threshold, but not to go to the Gods, but to the demons and the dead.  In the three days after His death He was not in heaven, not on earth, but “in the heart of the earth.” (Mat. 12:40)  There He brought light into the hopeless existence of death and the underworld.  There the germ of a new heaven and a new earth was planted.

Since His death and resurrection every death experience can become the germ of a new life.  For whoever dies in Christ walks with Christ through death into deathless life.


Rev. Bastiaan Baan, Good Friday 2024

1 reply
  1. marqus mushtaq
    marqus mushtaq says:

    Your blog post offers a beautifully contemplative exploration of the profound and mysterious journey of Christ’s final days on earth. Your approach to the story of the Last Supper and its aftermath provides a fresh and illuminating perspective on the events leading up to Christ’s death and resurrection. I especially appreciate your thoughtful reflection on the term “tetelestai” and its significance in the context of ancient mysteries. This connection enriches our understanding of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice and the transformative nature of His resurrection. Your writing invites us to engage deeply with the spiritual journey and the promise of new life through Christ’s victory over death. Thank you for sharing this inspiring and insightful piece.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *