Today is Good Friday and when I’ve stopped and really reflected, I realize Good Friday wasn’t good at all. When I’ve sat with what Good Friday really is, I’m overcome.
Overcome with awe.
Overcome with grief.
Overcome with fear.
Overcome with overwhelming gratitude.
Overcome with deep sadness and been brought to tears.
The Darkness of Friday
I don’t often sit and reflect on the events of Good Friday. I don’t often allow myself to become immersed in that day, to place myself in Jerusalem, watching as Jesus was beaten, mocked, stripped, ridiculed, tormented, and ultimately murdered.
Allowing myself into that place opens deep places of sorrow and grief in my soul.
Not only did he experience physical pain beyond pain I cannot even comprehend, the emotional pain feels overwhelming to my being.
But the spiritual pain is a pain I do not even want to try to comprehend. Because the pain of even imagining being forsaken by God is more than my soul can take.
We may feel like God has forsaken us- we may believe that to be true at times in our life- or even all of our life. But the fact of the matter is that NOTHING makes that true. Nothing can ever make that true.
There is no emotion or circumstance or sin or argument on this earth that will cause God to forsake us.
God has NOT forsaken us. He never will. No matter how dark our dark is, we are NOT forsaken by God.
But He did forsake Jesus.
Of the few things Jesus said after his arrest, he cries out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 NIV
Jesus knows the horror of that darkness.
Jesus knows the darkest dark.
After the Cross
I cannot imagine what this day was like for the disciples, for Jesus’ family, for his mother, Mary, for his close followers, for his loved ones.
The person for whom my heart aches for most is Jesus’ mother, Mary.
Maybe its being a new mother that makes my heart’s eye focus on her. While I write this, I am watching my son play next to me in the backyard. His life is more than I can begin to describe to you. He is more than I can describe to you. To put myself in Mary’s shoes is almost more than I can bear.
I cannot comprehend the depth of pain she felt as she watched her son die. I cannot comprehend watching her son suffer on the cross. I cannot comprehend how her soul ripped apart as he looked at her and gave her to John. I cannot comprehend the darkness of that experience for her. What horror it must have been for her. Truly living a nightmare to not only lose her son in such a horrific way, but to know his power and to watch him die…. I cannot comprehend her confusion. I cannot comprehend her war with God over this plan.
How dark is Friday for her?
No matter what your darkness is, you can trust knowing that Christ has lived through darkness. No matter what your darkness is, Christ is living it with you.
He lived the darkness of Friday so he could be with you. So he could be the essence of empathy. So he could hold you. So he could live day by day, moment by moment
knowing the depth of your darkness.
Living in your darkness is like that Friday. It’s living in a nightmare that you can’t wake up from. It’s waking up day after day, praying, wishing, hoping that this is not your reality. It’s feeling like your entire body and soul and mind is being ripped from you. It’s living daily in grief. Its living daily in shame. It’s living daily fighting each moment to breathe.
Good Friday wasn’t good. Good Friday was the darkest day that has ever been.
In all that has come to pass and all that will, that darkness is the darkest of all.
The Good News is coming
As Christians, we often jump to focusing on the Good News. The Good News is better than good, so maybe that’s why we jump there. Maybe it’s our discomfort with darkness. Maybe it’s the belief that living a Christian life means all happy, all the time. I don’t know exactly.
I do know we can’t move too quickly through Friday. We can’t jump to his victory before we allow ourselves to experience the darkness of apparent defeat.
Remember, Mary, the disciples, his family, his loved ones, his followers. They didn’t know Sunday was coming. They just knew the darkness of Friday.
All they saw was his death. All they saw was their fear, their grief, their loss, their sorrow, their shattered dreams, their confusion. All they saw was dark.
Remember Jesus. He was human which leads me to believe that all he saw was his pain, his loss, his grief, his fear, his confusion. It leads me to believe all that he saw was dark.
Sunday will come. Praise God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, SUNDAY WILL COME!!!
But don’t miss Friday, because Sunday wouldn’t be as victorious without the darkest dark of Friday.
He understands your darkness. He lived it. He lives your darkness with you- daily, whether you realize it or not.
So let him be in your darkness. Open your heart, your soul, your mind, your body to allow him to enter into the darkness in your life.
He lived the darkest dark for such a time as this.