Today is Good Friday. A key part of Holy Week for Christians around the world. This year hardly feels like a normal Holy Week probably because it is not normal. There is no Maundy Thursday service, no somber Good Friday service, no gathering on Easter Sunday to celebrate our risen Savior. No sharing of communion with a body of believers.
This doesn’t mean there is no Holy Week. It just means that it looks a bit different than we are used to. Services are watched online or on tv. Communion is taking place in our very own living rooms. And we will be celebrating that empty tomb on Easter Sunday!
I went back….waaaay back, to a post I had written in 2016. It still rings true today. I tried to reblog it to my blog but my wordpress buttons don’t seem to be cooperating so I have copied and pasted instead.
Even as a kid I wondered why they called this day Good Friday. In looking at the cross it never seemed like a good thing. Reflecting on good things makes me realize that many things in life do not, on the surface or while in the midst of them, seem like good things.
I am pretty sure everyone can look at their life and the hard, dark places that come with living and wonder where that good part is hiding. Sometimes you have to look pretty hard to find even a slight glimmer of the good. This is true, especially when you are in the middle of a hard place. There are some hard things that you may not see that shimmer of light for several years and some maybe never while on this earth. I am guessing that is where faith comes in and the hope of things unseen. (my slightly garbled version of Hebrews 11:1)
Do you ever wonder about Good Friday? Do you ever wonder if the disciples felt like their entire world was crashing down and dying on the cross with their Lord and friend? I wonder how they found the courage to take that next breath and wake up the next morning. Did they find themselves sighing deeply, hunching their shoulders to ward off the next psychological blow, swallowing back the tears and looking for anything to relieve the incredible pain? Did they spend those next three days asking “What if” or saying “If only”? Did they for an instant see the glimmer of the good that would come from this violent, brutal killing of the one they loved? Or was the darkness just to deep and the hurt so bottomless that there was no comfort and there were no words?
As a mom I cannot imagine how Mary survived those days. The memories of Jesus as an infant, the images in her mind of him taking his first steps, saying his first word. Did she remember if she was angry that he had stayed back in the temple, as a child, rather than leaving with his family on that trip home from Jerusalem? Did she ponder all these things and remember the words and promises that her son had told her? After having that horrible image of her son hanging on a cross stamped indelibly in her mind was there a small flicker of hope that he would rise from the dead or was it just to much to even think at all? There is no way I can begin to comprehend the despair that she, as a mom, felt at that point.
If you are going through a hard time that seems so dark that no light can penetrate; remember the promise of this day….this Good Friday. Yes, it is a good day. The promise of this day makes the living through the tough times less difficult. Not necessarily easier, just less difficult. This good day has brought grace. It has brought forgiveness. It has brought redemption. It has restored us to our place as God’s dearly loved children. That is a gift that is beyond imagining and I am ever so grateful. This day does not protect us from what life brings but it gives us hope for an amazing future. It is a promise.
So look for that glimmer of good, that glimmer of hope, that little sliver of light in the circumstance you are in. Hang on to the promise of this day. Hang on to the One who loved you enough to die for you and more than that, who was raised to life and is even now at the right hand of God and is interceding for us (Rom. 8:34)
May you be blessed wherever you are on this Good Friday and remember Sunday’s coming!!
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness
The cross at the top of this post was drawn by my youngest son when he was in high school. I love the way how this drawing reminds me how much Jesus loves me and each of us. I love being reminded that I am free, really free because of what happened on that one day…..that Good Friday so long ago.