Posts Tagged ‘Neal Patrick Harris’

Good Friday 2014 sermon: “What’s So Good About Good Friday?”

April 21, 2014
Possible location of Golgotha, "the Place of the Skull," where Jesus was crucified.

Possible location of Golgotha, “the Place of the Skull,” where Jesus was crucified. The Garden Tomb, Jerusalem.

Sermon Text: Matthew 27:11-56

I delivered this sermon at Hampton United Methodist Church in Hampton, Georgia, on Good Friday evening, April 18, 2014. The following is my original sermon manuscript.

Some of you have watched the show How I Met Your Mother. The series just recently ended, but a regular guest star during this final season was an actor named William Zabka, who was playing himself on the show. You probably don’t know his name. But if you’re around my age or my generation, you have certainly seen him in the movies before—or at least you’ve seen him in one particular movie, The Karate Kid. The Karate Kid was a Rocky-like movie of an underdog weakling named Daniel, played by Ralph Macchio, who ends up winning a martial arts competition against the school bully, a karate champion named Johnny Lawrence, played by Zabka.

Johnny, played by William Zabka, threatens Ralph Macchio's character in The Karate Kid.

Johnny, played by William Zabka, threatens Ralph Macchio’s character in The Karate Kid.

Zabka’s character, of course, was the villain of The Karate Kid. Everyone knows that…Everyone except Barney, the character on How I Met Your Mother played by Neal Patrick Harris. To his friends’amazement and disbelief, Barney actually thought that Zabka’s character was the real hero of The Karate Kid. So Barney’s friends arranged to have Zabka the actor meet Barney, and that’s why he was on the show.

My point is, you have to really turn things upside down in order to see Johnny Lawrence as the “good guy”of The Karate Kid. You have to have the ability to see the good in the midst of something—or someonethat everyone sees as bad.

And in my mind, that’s the challenge we all face when it comes to this holiday we call Good Friday. I guess for some people—people who don’t even necessarily practice the Christian faith—Good Friday might be good because it means a day off work—or whatever. But, assuming the Church wasn’t being ironic when they named this day Good Friday, there must be something “good”at the heart of this holy day, right? Read the rest of this entry »