There are a lot of different interpretations about good Friday, and the cross. Almost as many interpretations as preachers, I think. But something struck me today, sitting in the service.
In some ways, I think of Good Friday not as a way to redeem us, but as an experience. In Good Friday, Christ went through more horrors than most of us will ever face. He saw the worst of people who should have had the best interests of others at heart and didn't--the government, the religious leaders, his friends, the military. All of them let him down or hurt him in some way.
He went through it all and he still got up in the morning.
He was changed by his experiences (who wouldn't be?). But he still had compassion and caring, and cared about the important things. He was able to winnow the dross from the grain, and focus on the stuff that mattered.
I hope, as I grow older and change, and deal with my own experiences, I can be like Christ. Pulling the good from the bad, and still able to see the good. Still be able to show compassion and caring in a very real way. To me, this is the meaning of Easter.