It’s Good Friday. The day where the unimaginable happened. The day where our God put himself on the cross, to die and be buried, so that three days later He could rise and defeat death. All of this because He loves us. All of that pain, the separation, being forsaken, the death… all because He didn’t want for this world to be the only thing we had. He wanted us to have hope to live each day, knowing that we will see Jesus in eternity. We will worship along side the angels and sing with the saints. Heaven is the place where brokenness is no more and its only accessible to us because of this day; because of Good Friday.
Last Sunday, I had a meltdown. Not a temper-tantrum meltdown like my toddler, but an emotional breakdown from the last few months. I want so badly to understand all of this. To know why God has brought me to this place of ugliness. I want to understand why I’m dealing with this pain. Why, did my great God not save my son?
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” - Ecclesiastes 11:5
My son’s work here on this earth was completed in only 16 hours. I don’t know why, or how, or what that really even means, I just know that he was God’s child and that his 16 hours were all for the glory of God. Knowing all of that, however, doesn’t make it any easier to believe all the time, or to get through each day. It also doesn’t mean I won’t long for understanding. Thankfully, I don’t have to get through each day on my own. Thankfully, because of what happened on Good Friday all those generations ago, I have the cross to bridge the gap between my incapability and God’s perfect expectations. Thankfully, even though I know I may not always understand the work of God, that doesn’t make him any less God or any less good. He hasn’t promised that I will always understand. He has only promised that He is who He says He is and that is way bigger than I’m capable of understanding.
Easter this year feels a lot more real and personal. Not saying that I haven’t felt the weight of Good Friday before… just this year it stings differently. Death is a horrible thing. No matter who you are, no matter how expected a death may be, death sucks. It stings and is painful for those watching it happen because its not the way its supposed to be. I can imagine Jesus’ mother seeing her son on that cross… what a horrible death he died and even though she knew it was coming because of who he was, that was still her son. That was still a person who was loved and whose presence was going to be missed and absence deeply felt. I watched my son die so peacefully in my arms. I snuggled him and kissed him and told him how much his daddy and I love him. If death can be beautiful, his was. How much more must Mary’s pain have been in losing her son?
I’ve tried not to think about the death part of this week. I’ve tried to focus on the resurrection. The wonderful, conquering, resurrection. The problem with that, is that without the death, there would have been no resurrection. There would be no celebration of life if Jesus hadn’t first died. I know my son is not going to be resurrected. There is no celebration coming of his new life on this earth. But there is something so special that I can celebrate: his eternal life. It sucks for me, here on this earth, to have lost him to death after only 16 hours. But he isn’t feeling that loss. He isn’t missing me. He is in eternity, worshipping away until we are reunited when I enter eternity. That is the celebration that I can have every single day. Because of Good Friday, because of Easter Sunday, I can celebrate those 16 hours I had with my son on earth but even bigger, I can celebrate his eternity with Jesus.
God could have saved George Mason. He could have performed a miracle beyond my son surviving pregnancy. He could have had all of this work out differently. But He didn’t. I wish He had, but He didn’t. God could also have saved His own son, all those years ago. He could have so easily said this isn’t worth it, I don’t want to be separated from my son. He could have said one word and there would be no Good Friday and no need for an Easter Sunday. My goodness, how glad am I that He didn’t do that.
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” - John 19:30
It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. - Luke 23:44-46