“I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.” When he had said this, one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus. (John 18:20-22)
So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:37-38)
They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. (Jn. 19:15-16)
The Truth – a threat to the mirage of personal license, a threat to the ideologies of the epoch, a threat to the ways of the state – was crucified. Good Friday tragically marks this activity which has seemingly been the case throughout the course of human history. In the myriad of epochs, truth, perpetually stands as a challenge for man whose fallen and disordered desires recoil before its reality.
Simply to look at the irony of what has befallen mankind since the Enlightenment. The age of reason that “freed” man from the confines of religion and officially named him the arbiter and measure of all things has resulted in the bloodiest century of all human history, a programme of secularism that has removed the possibility of objective truth, a nihilism that diminishes the desire to search for the answers to the deepest questions, and a West that touts tolerance for all – which ultimately translates to tolerance for those granted such by the powers-that-be. Is it not ironic that the age of reason has resulted promoting behavior in radical opposition to nature, and impassioned and emotional displays of outrage, supplemented with little dialogue? Indeed, little dialogue is possible when void of common ground, when there is no affirmation of objective truth, natural law, and authentic goods.
“The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.” (Jn.1:9-11)
For man, there is one authority. The self. There is one master. The self. There will be no acceptance of an Other. Today is the day when atheism, materialism, relativism, hedonism, and secularism stand triumphant.
So it is that man degenerated by his own sinfulness, cannot bear to stand in front of the truth, in front of reality, because it means acknowledging his littleness – that he is not God. In his pride, he would much prefer to crucify the Truth and keep it tightly concealed in a tiny tomb.