A Message for Good Friday
Four years ago tomorrow, April 15, 2013, the Boston Marathon bombings occurred; simultaneously, I was experiencing a very significant life event. Some 2,000 years ago, on what we now know as Good Friday, a much larger group also suffered a trauma.
Not unlike the experience of the multitude present at the 2013 Boston Marathon, I would imagine that many in Jerusalem felt scared, disappointed and hopeless. After seeking something that they couldn’t quite put their finger on, they stumbled upon a man with a message that allowed them to feel accepted, included and loved.
It’s tough for me to envision what the world must have looked like on the day that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, so many years ago, but I imagine his followers thinking, “Great, just when things seemed to be getting a little better, now life is back to the way it was before.” They were all hopeful for a victory, for a more positive life experience, maybe for personal redemption. Haven’t you had those times when life seems to be going so well and then…BAM! Some event or change takes place and you think, “so much for that;” I know I have.
Needless to say, there would be a challenging road ahead for all of us; no one was quite sure what impact these events would have on the future or what would come next. Of course, we now know that what came next was bigger and better than any of us could have imagined.
It’s easy to jump to the end of this story, to forget about the suffering of Good Friday and get to the feel-good part, but what if we pause for a moment and recognize the trauma, acknowledge the hopelessness and sit with the knowledge that we are all in the same spot. We are all struggling, at one point or another; we may not all be fully broken, but we definitely have some cracks that have been poorly patched with Super Glue – you know the ones, where you can still see the damage if you look closely enough?
We live in a world of suffering every day, we are all walking around with our cracks showing (metaphorically, of course), and how do we do it? We continually seek those elements that were personified in Jesus. We find that, somewhere in the midst of these circumstances, there is a renewed sense of faith, a hope for something greater than we were capable of understanding before, and an extraordinary love that is more powerful than we’ve ever known.
Before you read the last page, before you jump to the end of the story, remember that this part, the moment we’re in right now, is where we discover the way in which we connect all of this; in marathon lingo, the journey to the starting line of a race is more significant than the finish. The journey to Christian salvation included a lot of hopelessness, fear, confusion and heartbreak, emotions that we all know well, which makes the gift that much sweeter.