Give up sorrow and learn hope.
“Good Friday” seems like an oxymoron to me. What’s “good” about it? Kangaroo trial, mockery, and torture. What’s even more amazing about it is that Jesus walked innocently and willingly to the hill they called “the place of the skull.” So, named because of its appearance. Appropriate too because of the horrors it held.
“Good Friday” was the place that threatened to snuff out all hope. Prisoners who walked up that hill, never walked back. No matter how long it took, prisoners hung, gasping for air until they could no longer gasp. No hope.
But there was one way this hill was “good,” and that was in the outcome of it. Horrible though it was, when Jesus went up the hill, he went to wage war against sin and death. It was because of him that death lost its grip on humanity. It was good because Jesus did, in fact, walk back down the hill. At first it was through the tender ministrations of Joseph of Arimathea. Then, after striding out of the tomb he walked around Galilee fully alive, wounds healed – Satan the one with the fatal wounds. That’s good.
Jesus’ resurrection gives us HOPE. If he could be raised from the dead, then so can we. And now we wait for the future the angel promised. “Jesus been taken from you. But someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go.” Acts 1:11.
“l passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and the twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time most of whom are still alive, though some have died….just as death came into the world through one man, now the resurrection from e dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. l Corinthians 15:3-22.
“Early on Sunday morning… there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone and sat on it…. Then the angel spoke to the women, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, and said, “Don’t be afraid. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said it would happen.” Matthew 28:1-10.
Question: Will you be happy to see Jesus coming or fearful of that event?
Activity: Jesus’ resurrection is like a lens through which we can look at life in general: the decisions we make, the relationships we have, and the work we do in every category of life. Discuss with a friend or partner how this affects your life.
Prayer: Dear Father, we know how differently we view life from those who do not know you or think in this way. This makes our lives more difficult as well as easier. More difficult because of the way in which we live in the way of the cross. Easier because of the trouble we avoid by living in this way, the greater the joy, and the deeper the hope. Please help us to remind one another of what you ultimately provide for us as we walk this way. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.