Metamorphosis: Good Friday–A Common Story

Today commemorates the Jewish version of an ancient and universal story.  (It has since become known as the Christian story, but it was originally the Jewish version of this powerful story told in many different cultures.  See here for an interesting compilation of world-wide stories).


3rd century image of Dionysius on a cross, predating the earliest images of Jesus on a cross. For more info, cf.

A child was born in special circumstances.

The child grew into a unique human being.

Ultimately, the uniqueness of this human being was perceived as a threat to those in power who then used their power to kill that unique being.  This sacrifice of unique being was the set up of transformation.

If you look only cursorily, you will find this story over and over again in various cultural and religious renditions.  That is all interesting and makes for a stimulating history lesson.

Here are the real questions on this Good Friday when we remember the betrayal, judgment, crucifixion and death of Jesus.  Do you recognize the special circumstances in which you were born?  Have you come to see the unique being that you grew or are growing into?  Have you run into those powers in your life who have used or are using their power to suppress or even do way with your own uniqueness?


Sketch of Michelangelo. Used with permission

This story of Jesus’ death is not the only one of its kind in world cultures and religions, but it is also universal. It reflects back to us, like a spiritual mirror, the dynamics that we face as we enter into and traverse the journeys of our lives.  We will come up against powers in our lives that try to do away with our uniqueness.  We will go through a death that feels like the unique person that we are is lost forever.  That very experience, according to this archetypal story, can lead to transformative experiences that allow us, finally to be who we really are.

Birth.  Life.  Journey.  Death.  Transformation.  Good Friday, because it finally leads us to be who we are.

Bob Patrick

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