Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Morning After

33 A.D., the morning after the crucifixion. How are they feeling: 
  • Peter and Andrew and the rest of the apostles? Jesus' closest allies on this earth--the ones privy to His explanation of parables, the ones who had witnessed His miracles and observed His responses to the poor and the powerful--they had all abandoned Him in His darkest hours? How are they feeling? How would you be feeling?
  • John the Apostle? Mary the mother of Jesus? Did they linger at the cross long after others had left, unable to tear themselves away from their beloved? Did John take Mary home with him that very night to care for her as Jesus had requested? Did they keep each other awake all night crying? Did they pray together?
  • Mary Magdalene? Did she weep through the night? Did she wonder what her life would be like now that her deliverer had been killed and was no more? Did she contemplate falling back into her old ways now that her protector was gone? Or did she busy herself rounding up spices to anoint His body as soon as the sabbath was past?
  • Mary and Martha of Bethany? Were they deep in thought, Mary pondering the things she had learned at His feet and Martha wishing she'd spent more time listening? Were they remembering how He had raised their brother Lazarus from the dead and hoping, beyond hope, that He might pull off another such miracle--this time for Himself?
Oh, the depths of their despair!  

Last night's Good Friday service was funereal. The room was dark.  Soft music played. Appropriate somber words were spoken. Hymns were sung. Everyone tacked messages of contrition or resolution on a wooden cross in the front. We left in silence, pondering the cross and the One who had hung there.

Yet, we did not sorrow as those who have no hope. Why? Because, unlike Peter and Andrew and the rest of the apostles, unlike John the beloved and Mary the mother of Jesus, unlike Mary Magdalene and Mary and Martha of Bethany, unlike all of Jesus' contemporaries, we know this: Jesus died and rose again.

Because of Christ's death on Good Friday and His resurrection three days later, we have every reason to hope and rejoice in the Lord now and ever after. Think what this means!

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