It’s Good Friday, the first week of April, the time of year that the earth seems to celebrate with blooms and blossoms everywhere. I still don’t understand why this day is considered good.
I’m sure it was not so good two thousand years ago for a small band of ragamuffins who had followed Jesus around for a couple of years. I’m sure it was anything but good. I can only imagine the pain and disappointment they were experiencing and if you want a glimpse at what our Lord felt, rent “The Passion of The Christ.”
It is, of course, what comes on Sunday that is good. I love that day.
What a way to start a week. If I know anything about Jesus’s followers (and actually I don’t, but I have a pretty good imagination), I bet they spent most of the hours between Friday and Sunday in despair.
They probably scratched their heads and wondered if he had actually warned them this would happen.
Of course he did, they just wouldn’t hear it. They could not have foreseen this terrible event. The week before they had enjoyed entering the city of Jerusalem with Jesus as the people laid down palm leaves in his path and sang praises. Funny how a crowd can turn on you.
By the end of that same week, the crowd condemned him to death. Nobody stood in his defense, he had no lawyers or representatives. It was Jesus against the world. Only God himself understood what was happening.
Jesus came to be with us as we are. He walked in the same kind of skin that we have.
But he was a child who grew up without sin. Imagine how easy he would have been to raise. Imagine how much fun his half siblings must have had trying to live up to that brother’s reputation.
When he was a man, he gathered a group of misfits and scoundrels to follow him. He didn’t look for the most perfect men to be his disciples, he chose common people.
He hung out with people who would not fit in at many of our churches today.
Matthew was a tax man, not the most reputable job of that day. Peter had a temper, Thomas doubted, and we don’t even need to get started on Judas. The rest were just guys, nobodies.
The great thing about these men is they were changed by being with Jesus all those months.
They were still imperfect, still were caught unaware of what was going on that Friday that we now call “good.”
But, when Sunday dawned and the tomb was empty these guys became true believers. They would make sure the truth of this story got told, they couldn’t keep it to themselves even when they were threatened with death. In fact, history tells us ALL of them died martyrs except John.
As we look to Easter Sunday with the troubles and disappointments we may face, let’s be encouraged that Friday was not the end.
The tomb is still empty and that is very good!