It’s Friday…but Sunday’s Coming!
There are some weeks when life goes according to plan. No one in the family is sick, there aren’t any snow cancellations and we move forward with all of the things we use to fill our days. And then there’s the opposite. The weeks when life is derailed, We’re not in control of how our days will look and we resign ourselves to the circumstances and figure survival is really the end goal. But then we go back to normal as we’ve known it.
And then there are weeks like this one. When I am reminded that the world is not simply measured by how convenient or inconvenient it is for me. Where broken seems a tame word to describe the state of humanity. This week three families I love have been pushing through their own pain and questions as they surround families they love experiencing loss. Walking through grief that doesn’t make sense. In the last seven days a father of young kids died of cancer, a teenager lay in a hospital bed suffering from a brain tumor, a father shot and killed his wife in front of their three young boys. All this week in my circle of friends one step removed.
We are not talking small misfortunes or bad decisions. These aren’t things that can be reversed tomorrow with a do-over day. They are DEVASTATING. Gut wrenching. Life altering. They go against our every sensibility of how life should play out. Where our responses are guttural sobs of “No” or “Why?” Because they feel so wrong, so against what we cling to as good: life.
And that’s the thing about Good Friday, part of this life is wrong. Very wrong. Apart from how life was intended. These are symptoms of what shouldn’t be but is. And it all started back in that Garden of Eden story. A turning away from God that spun things out of control. We call this turning away sin. A loaded word these days because it’s associated with behaviors and judging others, but its essence is not of God. And those things out of our control are branches from the sin tree. Those decisions we make as humans that destroy and hurt, more branches. Behaviors sometimes yes. But also the very state of the world, its fractured core, goes back to that original sin.
And then Jesus enters the scene on Good Friday. That stepping on the cross was a way to turn the world back to God, to reconcile the broken with the one who created them. But how it played out in the moment was devastating to those who loved him. A dead savior, hanging with thieves. Where their only response was “No…Why?” This was the opposite of how things were supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking much lately on living in the middle of one’s story. That the characters in the Bible, well the purely human ones at least, had no idea how their stories would end. They were stumblers, just like us, stumbling through everyday decisions, trying to find their way. And those Jesus followers on Good Friday, thought it anything but good that the day turned out like it did. They couldn’t wrap their minds around what had happened because they didn’t know in three days Jesus would overcome death.
And here we are in the middle of our own stories where our heart-altering circumstances are too murky to see beyond. Where we refer to life as before the cancer and after. Before the shooting and after. And the darkness takes over. We are in the essence of Good Friday. The death without the hope.
There is a famous sermon from pastor Tony Campolo titled, “It’s Friday… but Sunday’s Coming”. To fully embrace the good news of Easter we must wrestle with this dark place of a broken world still waiting to be saved. Not really what I want to write about. But we must sit for a moment and acknowledge that our world is not simply inconvenient, it is broken in ways our human limitations cannot repair. But Jesus is the light bringer. The grace giver. The prince of peace.
As we live in the middle of our stories we are pushing to the ultimate end of a Savior. Like the Jesus people of his time, we don’t know what our own stories hold tomorrow. But we do have the benefit of knowing why Jesus stepped on the cross and how that worked out. And that’s why we can call today good.
It’s Friday… but Sunday’s Coming!