Leander Keck in his book Who is Jesus?: History in Perfect Tense (University of South Carolina Press, 2000) lists the various individuals who participated in the events surrounding “Good” Friday: “disciples, temple traders, priest, scribes, Sadducees, an unnamed widow, a leper named Simon, a woman with a jar of ointment, a man (!) carrying a jar of water, crowds, the high priest’s slave, a young man fleeing naked, the Sanhedrin, the high priest’s servant girl, Pilate, Roman soldiers, Simon from Cyrene in North Africa, women at the cross, Joseph of Arimathea–to mention only those that appear in Mark” (p.126).
I had never seen and reflected upon a list of individuals touched by that Friday in Judea. On the one hand, it is a strange group of individuals gathered together in one basket: women, men, powerful, weak, obscure, well known, the diseased, the confused, the naked (!), local folk, international folk, individuals just trying to make a buck, religious folks dedicated to God, owners and the owned. On the other hand, it is a revealing window onto how the event of that Friday cuts across all lines and touched all, whether they knew it or not.
Keck, in a wonderful quote, illustrates well the implication of Jesus’ death on that “Good” Friday: “Because Jesus’ lifework ended on the cross he is the fractured prism, and his ‘brokenness’ remains its essential feature. For Christian theology Jesus’ resurrection did not ‘heal’ his brokenness but made it permanently significant” (p. 114).