Friday, 14 April 2017

Good Friday reflections 14th April 2017 by Susanne Irving

I visited some art galleries in Edinburgh recently and came across an outdoor installation that proclaimed: 

I read it twice, wondering whether I had misread the message. After all, I had just been praying about some blocks and strongholds from the past – but the message remained the same - "There will be no miracles here" - and stayed with me as I walked around the indoor gallery. I decided to find out more about the installation. The original quote was apparently: “There will be no miracles here by order of the king.” It was attributed to a French king who was fed up with pilgrims gathering in one of his villages in search for a miracle and neglecting their duties. Artist Nathan Cole commented that people with strong faith might read it as an anti-hope statement, whereas he felt it was about hope springing from human action: “… your actions have consequences… we can’t sit and wait for things to happen and fate doesn’t exist.”

I wonder whether an attitude of making things happen also played a part in Judas’s betrayal of Jesus. He had maybe envisaged a different kind of Messiah and may have hoped to force Jesus's hand to reveal his true strength and power, a conquering hero who would vanquish Rome. 

When he saw that Jesus had been condemned to die and seemed to resign to his fate, he concluded “There will be no miracles here.” He gave up and hung himself. 

He missed the eerie physical darkness when day turned into night as Jesus died on the cross, but he also missed the light that suddenly flooded the temple, when the curtain split from top to bottom, proclaiming that there was another side to the story.

I wonder too how often I/we miss the light and only see the darkness.  I remember as a child expecting Jesus to come down from the cross and beat up His enemies and the shock and disappointment when he died.

God often has a different script to the one that I would have written. It is then tempting to take matters into my own hands and prematurely conclude: “There will be no miracles here.”

I forget that Jesus did not stay on that cross and that the final chapter is still being written.

There was another installation in the outside exhibition by the way. It read 

“Everything is going to be alright"... - the writing apparently becomes more visible in mist and darkness – and requires looking up to notice it!

About the author:
Sue Irving is the co-ordinator for the Creative Communicators in Petersfield. She has co-written a book with her husband John about their experiences when climbing Kilimanjaro. It is aimed at both trekkers and those who are going through a dark time in their lives. How to conquer a mountain: Kilimanjaro lessons is available as a paperback and an e-book on Amazon, with all proceeds going to charity.


  1. A really inspiring read. God does indeed have a different script than we do. A great reminder this Good Friday. Loved this post.

  2. I loved this, Sue, thank you. It has made me question whether I have written that statement over my life. Miracles for others and not for me? And yet the bigger statement of Jesus hanging on the cross shouts louder. Plenty to chew on as I go through today...

  3. Thank you for this, especially for the second statement, which speaks to me as I go through cancer for the second time (nad with more radical treatment than before).

  4. Who wants to be an atheist, an empiricist and a humanist? I tried all of those and found them pretty dreary. Even before the joy of Resurrection Sunday, the power of the Good Friday cross is what radiates my life.