Good Friday – The Final Enemy

by Bishop Robert Barron

God hates death and wants nothing to do with it. Listen to the words of Ezekiel the prophet: “I will open your graves and have you rise from them” (Ezekiel 37:12). These are spoken just after the marvelous scene of the enlivening of the dry bones.

There is an important clue here, by the way. Those dry bones were there because a battle had been fought on that spot. Death, the fear of death, the threat of death, putting to death—all of this broods over human life and grounds sin and oppression. Think for a moment: all sin flows finally from a fear of death. Every tyrant who has ever lived has succeeded through awakening in people the fear of death.

But what if death, as we know it and experience it, is not at all what God intended? What if it were something that God wanted to deal with once and for all, to get rid of? The book of Genesis tells us clearly that death came from sin. Mind you, death is not the dissolution of the body—that seems to be part of the natural process. But death as we experience it—as something fearful, horrible, terrifying—comes from having turned from God.

On this Good Friday, it’s important to remember that Jesus came primarily as a warrior whose final enemy is death. I know how easy it is to domesticate Jesus, presenting him as a kindly and inspiring moral teacher, but that is not how the Gospels present him. He is a cosmic warrior who has come to do battle with all of those forces that keep us from being fully alive.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus deals with the effects of death and a death-obsessed culture: violence, hatred, egotism, exclusion, false religion, phony community.

But the final enemy he must face down is death itself. And he does it on a cross.


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  • Anton D

    – ‘ Think for a moment: all sin flows finally from a fear of death. ‘

    – ‘ He is a cosmic warrior who has come to do battle with all of those forces that keep us from being fully alive. ‘

    – ‘ Throughout the Gospels, Jesus deals with the effects of death and a death-obsessed culture: violence, hatred, egotism, exclusion, false religion, phony community. ‘

    – ‘. . .the final enemy he must face down is death itself. And he does it on a cross. ‘

    • Mary Jurczyk

      Jesus conquering death renews us to be courageous and to live our lives as He intended.

      • that florida lady

        I like the idea we don’t have to fear that is the meaning of good Friday for me

        • Anton D

          He has changed our limits, of thinking and acting, as we knew it.

  • Hematite

    Death waits in bitter pain
    This perfect victim’s not for him
    Grief swallow up in joy

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you Jesus for showing us the way.


    Today starts the Divine Mercy Novena, please pray with Jesus for all Souls Past, Present, and Future. Adam lost the connection of the Human Will living in the Divine Will. Jesus died on the Cross of the Olive tree, because Adam sinned doing the Human Will taking and eating the fruit from the forbidden tree. (If he had not sinned he would have remained in the Divine Will). With that sin came everything dark, death is dark, all sin is dark. Jesus had to undo everything that Adam did Suffering so much for us, washing our Soul’s in His Blood. That is why it is so important to give your Human Will back to Jesus everyday, asking Mother Mary to give us Jesus Divine Will to Pray in unity with Him for all Soul’s. From the Cross Jesus poured out His Divine and Human Blood as a cure for sin.The Church was brought forth from Jesus side opening up a place for repent’s for Sin to be forgiven, Jesus left us His Body and Blood in which also is the unity of the Father,Son, and Holy Spirit to give us strength to remain in unity the Trinity. They can remain with us in this unity if we allow it, it is our weakness (the Human Will) that separate us from them. Peace and Love be with you and with you Spirit. Amen and Fiat.

    • Barbara Ann Baugh

      I will be praying the Divine Mercy Novena during the three hours.

  • ber

    And a silence falls over the world
    Truley this was the son of God

  • TulsaVic

    The Feast of the Annunciation and the death of our Lord and Savior on the same day. What an interesting and spiritual contrast, the alpha and omega of Christ’s humanity, to be overshadowed in 3 days by His divinity. Thank you Lord Jesus for your free choice of obedience to the Father and the sacrifice for us of Your humanity!

    • ThirstforTruth

      Wonder-ful! In the hustle and bustle of holidays, what a marvel-ous meditation…I had not connected these miraculous
      events. Bless you for this inspiration.

    • jesspinosa

      Please note that we are celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation this year on April 4. It has been moved to put the focus totally on the death of our Lord.

  • vahillbilly4

    I want to thank Bishop Barron for giving me some insight to reflect on these past forty days of Lent as I continue my journey to my final reward. Death has no ties waiting for me.

  • Patrick Cassidy

    The Jews expected a warrior king not unlike King David for the Messiah. So when Jesus came on the scene, they were surprised.

    But, Jesus is the ultimate Warrior, and King. If you look at any battles, the defending army usually has an advantage in knowing the terrain (think Revolutionary War, Civil War, etc…).

    Jesus, took the battle into death’s terrain, and went face to face with death to save us. You know what happened? Death blinked.

    Death was the strong man that ruled the world, until a stronger Man (Jesus) came in and bound him up.

  • ginny

    thank you for each and everyone of your talks ..I have found a place for them in my heart …each giving me something different ,.my hope is in the LORD and I draw my strength from that..thank you for a more profound lent peace I give to you as a gift as you gave to me

  • Nancy Rynders

    During His Agony in the Garden, Jesus asked His Father to “let this cup pass from me” – even the Savior experienced, although briefly, that human fear of death. But then He accepts the will of His Father, allowing Judas to hand Him over with a kiss, and entered His Passion willingly. At the end of Holy Thursday Mass last night, when they reposed the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel, the lights were dimmed, and we were silent. I felt the sadness of Good Friday, but the hope of Easter Sunday. Our Lord and Savior has conquered all fear for me. Thank you, Bishop Barron, for these wonderful Lenten reflections. Have a Blessed Easter, everyone!

  • concerned citizen

    ‘Think for a moment: all sin flows finally from a fear of death. ‘

    Are we living in a culture of death because of the sinfulness of modern mankind? Or are we more sinful today because of the prevalence of culture of death?

    • Anton D

      May be all of history is / ‘will always be’ in need of a saviour.

  • Joey Glass

    Bless you Bishop Barron for each morning I read your reflections and I am blessed. I am grateful~ God is good. Walking with Him each day~ Happy Easter.

  • Ada Peace

    Thank You Lord God giving me hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ Your Divine Son. Amen.

  • Heather Ridgley

    Thank you, Bishop Barron, from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my soul for this wonderful reflection. God bless you!

  • Rena Marzen

    Yes. Thank you. Yes, I need to be reminded that Jesus faces down the enemy in the culture of death: violence, hatred, egotism, exclusion, false religion, phony community. Amen


    How can the destruction of our bodies be something God intended? Bishop Barron says it is a natural process and the thing sin brought into the world is our fear and horror of it. I find that hard to swallow. The aging process and death, even if you have peace with God, is painful and horrible, depressing debilitating. How can that be God’s natural process? It seems death of our bodies itself is not ever what God intended. Why would he have brought back to like those dry bones? I need some clarity of this point he made.

    • Anton D

      This link may help (CCC) :

      Catechism of the Catholic Church(CCC)
      417 – Adam and Eve transmitted to their descendants human nature wounded by their own first sin and hence deprived of original holiness and justice; this deprivation is called “original sin”.

      418 – As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called “concupiscence”)

    • Barbara Ann Baugh

      Death is not the destruction of our bodies because on the Last Day our bodies will be resurrected as were the Dry Bones.

    • John E.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Jesus said, “In all truth I tell you, if any man keeps my Word, He shall never see death.” (John 8.51).

      Our Lord is referring to the “real” death, the death of the soul, which is what our Lord came to liberate us from.

      When thought of this way, what Bishop Barron speaks about of the “natural” bodily death (which still came into the world as a result of sin; see Romans 5.12-21) can be reconciled.

      But still, there are some who will never taste even bodily death; those who are still left alive when Jesus comes. St. Paul says these will be changed “in a flash!” (1 Corinthians 15.50-58).

      To sum up, I think Bishop Barron makes the point on death as referring to the death within us which comes as a result of sin and not the bodily death (which still is a result of sin) but which is not a death, but a “passing into life.” Remember what our Lord said about a wheat grain “dying” and what St. Therese said while she was “dying”: “I am not dying, I am entering into life.”

  • Barbara Ann Baugh

    I am beginning the Three Hours with this meditation. I have been told that I would surely die if I didn’t have an abortion; I carried the pregnancy until my daughter was born (3 months premature) We both survived. I have been told twice I would be dead from cancer in x number of months. Have I been scared? You bet? But Jesus without my asking has comforted me and by the cross. I have learned to unite my fear and suffering with Jesus on the cross. When I do that all fear disappears.

  • Jackie

    “I’ve packed my bags, I can go with a tranquil heart”. Pope John XXIII,

    “Not talking about death doesn’t keep it away. Likewise, talking about death doesn’t bring it any nearer.” Anna Howard: “Death: Breaking the Taboo.”

    Every day one is preparing for the unavoidable re-birth. Like birth, death is a transition into the unknown. The biggest mystery that we will have to face in our lives. Birth and death happen continually; they are processes within life. One has different death experiences throughout a lifetime. Divorce, death of a parent, a spouse, losing you job. On a more positive note, your youngest child going off to college or getting married.

    Living your life fully through your relationships prevents you from setting up barriers. Keeps you connected. Death should not be a separation but a continuous process of life.

    On Good Friday Christians remember that Jesus came to give us New Life. He left us with His Spirit. Every day we lift up our hearts to the Lord and ask for the grace to continue on the journey, not to give up on ourselves and to remember that he loves us no matter what.

  • Gary

    DYING TO LIVE. Jesus had to die, for us to live. We also have to die to live. We are already Spiritually dead to the world. Physical death brings us new glorified bodies which will last forever. There is peace in knowing that this body and this temporary home we are living in will be replaced with a heavenly body and home with our Savior and Lord. We celebrate this day of suffering and pain, and humiliation, by Jesus in obedience to his Father. Let s all get on our knees and give him thanks and praise for this ultimate sacrifice. The final sacrifice.

  • rtclovesmac

    Death’s chains have been broken and the gift of Divine Mercy sustains us and those for whom we pray.

    Thank you Lord Jesus, I trust in You

  • Mary Jane Madeline

    Thank you Bishop Barron for this Lenten reflection on Good Friday. “Turning away from God” is Death! We are talking about the soul, not the body that grows older and more frail.
    Today was a beautiful service at our parish for the Veneration of the Cross. Full church and cry rooms at this 3pm service. How awesome to know there are many that are grateful to Jesus Christ for showing us how he carried His cross, and dies for us, so that we can have eternal life.It is a Good Friday for all.

  • Linda Dokey

    I guess I will be late for my own funeral, but I know that I am Ready to Meet My Lord Jesus when my work here is finished.
    Thank you Bishop Barron for leading us through our journey of Lent. GOD BLESS