Skipping Good Friday

Easter Sunday is just around the corner. It is the time of year Christians around the world focus on Jesus’ resurrection. There is a real part inside us that would just like to skip right over Good Friday and land on Easter Sunday, kind of like watching The Passion of the Christ and using the scene forward button to skip half the movie…we just can’t take it. It would be like reading The Old Man and the Sea and taking out everything that had to do with fish. The story wouldn’t ever become a classic if it left out the tension. It would just be a story about a tired old man’s conversation with a kid that skipped right to a really tired old man talking having a second conversation with a kid.

Sometimes we would rather skip the blood and shame Jesus experienced…and that is understandable. It is just too much for us. Fortunately for God, it was enough. It is easy to feel that way about the Jesus story because the cross is not a comfortable place to hang out. I would rather see Roman soldiers running afraid of the angels than I would see them put nails in the hands of my Savior. I would rather hear a victory speech than words of seeming defeat. I would rather smile and laugh than cry. It is how we are wired…to avoid pain and seek pleasure. The cross hits one of those and the empty tomb the other and so we avoid the cross and seek out the empty tomb.

And we do get the victory…but first we get death. We get the wait. The tension. The questions of his disciples…some of whom had gone back to fishing…will he stay dead or will he rise just like he said he would? You can’t have Easter Sunday until you go through Good Friday.

On a side note, here is a great summary of the Christian imagery in the Old Man and the Sea


Living Between Good Friday and Easter Sunday

We recognize “Good Friday” and Easter but what about the day in between? Do you ever wonder what life was like for the disciples the day after the crucifixion? During Jesus’ earthly ministry they never quite understood his prophesies concerning his death and resurrection. Even when he rose from the dead they were a little slow to understand. I wonder if they were hopeless that day. It would seem their hope in Jesus had been dashed to pieces by his crucifixion by the Romans and now they are potential targets as well.

Do you think many people today live in the day between Good Friday and Easter? I mean, do you think that many people live in light of shame and agony of death without any hope or recognition of the Good News brought that Easter morning? It is a lot like the Japanese soldier they found on an island in the pacific decades after the end of WWII who thought they were still at war. He had never heard how the story ended. The hope that we have springs from the resurrection of Christ. Without that our lives are meaningless. Unfortunately, many live in the day between with no hope beyond the grave and no understanding of the rest of the story for their lives.

Let us be people who share with others the rest of the story about the hope that is found in Jesus Christ and how God calls them to their own empty tomb as death will no longer have a hold on them. Let us get people past Friday and Saturday and show them the glory of Sunday and abundant life. We often take hope for granted but many people live every day with no hope. They are living on the day between Good Friday and Easter, never having heard that there is more to the story of life than death and degradation. There is a story that will change their lives forever. Let’s share our hope with others by telling the Easter story over and over again. Have a great Easter!