Good Friday is one of the most painful holy days of the year. This explains why so many of us avoid it year after year……and why we are so quick to jump from Palm Sunday to Easter. But yet so much of such importance happens in those too-often ignored days of life and ministry.
Good Friday, if we will be true to the Bible, is a funeral for our hopes and dreams—and not in that “when we all get to heaven” celebration kind of way; No! it is a time of tragic sadness.
We lay to rest aspirations and expectations as we sit—mournfully—with the disciples who really and truly thought this was the end. That things just didn’t turn out the way they had hoped. That maybe they had gotten it all wrong, and Jesus wasn’t the messiah they thought he was.
In the darkness of this night:
We too misunderstand what Jesus says with clarity.
We too wrestle with doubt.
We too struggle to stay awake.
We too choose the easy paths of the world.
We too deny our Lord.
We too flee when things get difficult.
We too mock others even when we ourselves are dying.
We too fail to understand that even death cannot hold back the love of God.
Therein lies the Easter message. But it is not yet Easter. So tonight, and tomorrow, we join the disciples for an honest couple days in the darkness of uncertainty.
If we cannot sit with them in the darkness of this night, we have no right to celebrate the dawn to come. Do not sleep, my sisters and brothers, but pray that you may not enter into temptation.