I do my very best work when it comes to avoiding things that break my heart. Stories that make me not just cry, but weep with pain and agony are hard for me. Some might attribute this to a Pollyanna-ish attitude toward life, but truth be told, I’ve lived enough pain and loss that deliberately exposing myself to more seems ridiculous.
This weekend – Easter Weekend, specifically Good Friday – is one of those that I would have loved to avoid. You can laugh with me, if you will … I’m a nut.
You see, I’m the girl who reads the gospels and knows exactly what is coming, but prays that I don’t have to read it again. When I watch movies about the crucifixion and resurrection, I dread that Good Friday moment on the cross. I fall in love with Jesus all over again as the movie presents him in all his humanity and then I am destroyed as I watch his humanity come to grips with that which his divinity has already done. There’s a little part of me that wishes that just once, he wouldn’t have to die on the cross.
As much as I silently beg for it to not happen (inside my head so no one knows what a ridiculous fool I’m being), I find myself so thankful that Good Friday isn’t the end of the story.
The crazy thing is – the Resurrection isn’t the end of the story either. The story is just getting started on Easter Sunday morning when the glory of heaven reveals itself to creation.
Every year, I approach Good Friday with trepidation, knowing that once more I am faced with the truth of what sin has wrought. God’s son chose to die an excruciating death, one that I can barely read about or consider, so that he could give us the opportunity to stand in the holy of holies and immerse ourselves in God’s presence.
As much as I dread this day, I’m thankful for the cycle that brings me to a point of humility each Good Friday. It is the worst of me that brought this about … I am ashamed that this day even has to exist in history and I am humbled that this gift is offered freely.
Monday morning we will return to our normal lives. Celebrations will be complete, families will go home, jobs will demand our time, life will move on. But today, as much as I feel sorrow and pain for the crucifixion of Jesus’ body over two thousand years ago, I am renewed by the grace and hope of his unfathomable gift on that cross.
May you have a blessed Easter weekend.