In Touch April 22, 2011
Posted on April 22, 2011 by under Touché,

It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming

Every year I write my Easter message on Good Friday.  Is that a bad thing?  In the midst of a day of fasting and preparation for a service of darkness in the evening, the Easter message takes shape.  It would be a different message if I wrote it after the brass plays, the Hallelujah Chorus is sung and all the lilies have opened.  It would be different, but I don’t know if it would be good.

Easter speaks to the darkness in our life and in the world.  John begins his gospel affirming “the light that shines in the darkness and the darkness will never overcome it.”  John ends his gospel by showing us what this means.  Yesterday I spoke with a woman who is struggling with chronic illness and health setbacks, then a man who is on the continual verge of financial ruin, and heard of another person whose emotional distress has put her in the hospital.  The darkness is real and around us.  In Ephesians 1 Paul says the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead is the power of God that is at work within us.  True Easter faith sees that death, darkness, and despair do not have the last word; it is only by facing down the realities of these demonic forces that the light of Easter breaks through.

We call this Friday Good because on the cross Jesus took the worst that the world could deliver and absorbed the pain of sin for our sake.  From the cross to the empty tomb comes the most profound message of hope in our world.  We know that whatever cross we carry is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond compare.  Death, darkness and despair have been taken care of through the power of God evidenced on Easter morning.

So my prayer, with Paul, is that you may know this power in your life, not in spite of the darkness of death, but through the darkness of death.  We sing on Sunday because we know about Friday—and that is a hope that will never disappoint us.

Happy Good Friday: He is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia.