I said in my earlier post that I don’t like (but need) Good Friday. And some of you responded with some great comments about why the cross just can’t be circumvented. Thank you! Your faith is inspirational.
But having said that I don’t like (but need) Good Friday, I have to say that I greatly appreciated the Good Friday worship at Redwood Covenant. The words of the story, artfully told, balanced by music and buttressed by song, and the cross and it’s message, and the pounding of nails followed by the dipping of bread with my church was a powerful and loving experience for me.
But now it’s a new day. The solemnness of Good Friday is over. A new day, the seond day, dawns as a vigil for some.
After Jesus was crucified and breathed his last, Joseph of Arimathea took the body of Jesus and funded a costly burial that included binding the body of Jesus in linen cloths with spices and sealing the body in a new tomb. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary sat opposite the tomb watching as Jesus was prepared and then sealed in his tomb. And the Church over the centuries has held vigil with those women at the tomb of Jesus as an act of faithfulness, even when it doesn’t make sense.
After all, it didn’t make sense that Jesus had died. A dead messiah is a failed messiah, as NT Write says. A dead messiah proves that his claims were false, because, well, he’s dead which proves his promises were empty because they didn’t happen, and well, now he’s dead.
On the second day, people did not reject or turn away from Jesus because they did not believe. They turned away because it was obvious that Jesus was not the Messiah who would establish any new realm, because, well, he’s dead and now it will be business as usual.
But Mary and Mary and Joe, and probably others not revealed in Scripture, stayed by Jesus–even when it didn’t make sense.
And sometimes the best you can do is to can do is stay faithful to God when God doesn’t make sense, or after your dreams have died, or your life is in shambles, or after you’re doing great, and life is good. Either way, staying by Jesus even when it doesn’t make sense actually makes sense when you consider that God is faithful to us, even when we are unfaithful to him.
May this day be for you a vigil of faithfulness to the one who is faithful to you, even should you fail to keep watch and pray. And then, may your Easter encounter with the Risen Christ–who, it turns out, is establishing his realm, and it’s not business as usual–may this Lord of Life surprise you with a healthy dose of new life.