I realized today that in a far more trivial way, I can feel the sting of Good Friday a little differently this year.
Usually it has me ruminating on the excruciating death of Christ on the cross and the intricacy of the theology and reasons why He, the beloved son of God, would do such a thing.
Today, I can’t stop thinking of His friends. The disciples, the men and women, friends and family, who had been at His side every day for three years or more. Though the things that Jesus said were often confusing and even mysterious to them, they had taken His words in and the future had played out in their minds, just the way it does in mine. They thought that they had heard Him clearly. They thought things were going to go one way, leading right to the glory and the victory. They could taste His Kingdom. It seemed so obvious what the King was pointing them towards.
And then came Friday. All of the plans, hopes, dreams, and misread promises were crushed in a gruesome death. They had lost not only their friend, but the entire life they had built with Him and the future they envisioned having with Him.
In less than a week’s time, they went from the winning team entering Jerusalem with much fanfare, to scorned rejects of society, fearful for their own lives.
Yes, God had a plan and it was for our good. But the disciples could not see it on that bleak Friday. They had to wait. They had to hang out in the despair of believing that all Hope was lost and that the things they thought they heard from Jesus were wrong. All wrong.
There it is. The sting is not new to us. It has been felt by every follower of Christ since that day. We all vacillate between the denial, bargaining, anger, depression, and acceptance that comes with the upside-down of our outlook and plans. When the things that we heard God say to us end up looking quite differently than we thought we heard.
And so today I am aching for those beloved, imperfect humans who walked at the side of Jesus. The tears in my eyes sting just like my heart for those weary, broken souls with the shattered dreams. They didn’t know. They could not see. They had no understanding of the thing God was doing to rescue them, or how He would use their lives in such monumental ways.
Sunday was coming. But the minutes were ticking by so slowly and the silence from Heaven so deafening.
“I would really like to understand what you’re doing here, God. This isn’t how things were supposed to go.”
“Hold on tight a little longer…”
Sunday is coming.