Read: What is Good Friday?
“We are here today to celebrate that glorious overcoming, the sacrifice of a risen savior who died so that we might live,”
Jesus knew doubt and he knew fear, Obama noted, further reflecting on Jesus’ humanity. But he confronted his fear and conquered his own anguish, thus giving courage and hope to his followers.
“We all have experiences that shake our faith,” the president stated. “There are times where we have questions for God’s plan relative to us but that’s precisely when we should remember Christ’s own doubts and eventually his own triumph.”
Obama drew applause when he cited the New Testament book of John: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise appearance at the prayer breakfast and offered his own thoughts on what is considered the most holy day on the Christian calendar.
“I think Easter’s about forgiveness, in my view,” he told clergy. “I’m not a theologian, but when Jesus said ‘forgive them for they know not what they do,’ I think that was a generic statement as well as a statement specifically [for] what was happening on that day for Jesus. I think without forgiveness, there’s very little hope.”