Skipping to Resurrection
Today for Good Friday we had a reflection room set up at the church to aid people in reflecting on Jesus’ death. As I was spending some time in there I began contemplating how we (myself included) don’t like to mourn or grieve. We have an aversion to anything that isn’t happiness and our inability to mourn or grieve well betrays that. I know the feelings that come with grief aren’t enjoyable, but they are rich and essential to the human experience. I’m not sure how capable of real joy and happiness if we aren’t able to engage grief and mourning.
In many people and churches I see this desire to skip right over Christ’s death and straight to the resurrection. We want the joy without the grief. Even when we remember Christ’s death we don’t linger there long and we conclude with something along the lines of “Sunday’s coming!” That is a wonderful thing, but Jesus’ followers didn’t know the resurrection was coming. Granted, maybe they should have since Jesus told them he’d rise from the dead. But when he died it appears they thought it was over. They gave their life to something/someone that didn’t pan out. I can’t imagine the grief and pain that must have come with that. I don’t have to because I can just skip to resurrection.
I think we’d all benefit from a willingness to engage the grief of Good Friday (and probably real grief in other parts of life too). It’s the richness of the pain that makes the joy that much greater.