Another good Friday. Sometimes that’s what it feels like. Just another day. The world goes on. We get ready for work. Grab our favorite “energy” drink and plop, stand, create, converse, engage, build, chat, play or whatever else we do that brings in the bacon. Well, it’s not really just another day. I mean, it’s Friday. Partaaaaay. The weekend is upon us. Don’t we live for the weekend? Hoping that we can generate enough fun to get us through another week to get us to the weekend where we hope to, once again, generate enough fun to…and on and on we go in this life on the big spinning planet that too often feels more like the hamster wheel. Yep, it’s another good Friday.
Today, it is another GOOD FRIDAY. Another Friday preceding the celebration that we call Easter. You remember Easter. The day the Easter Bunny comes and hides Easter Eggs made of chocolate and jelly beans and all things sucrose. Then we gather for church, listen to another message about the Risen Savior, go home and have a nice family Easter dinner, if family is near. Or, we just do what we usually do on Sunday nights, enjoy the rest of the evening, getting ready for another Monday. And so it goes every year about this time.
What a shame. What a travesty that I fall into the routine of life that has lulled me into thinking that everyday is just like another day, that every Friday is just an entry to another weekend that never brings the real joy we hope it will. Then, Monday comes and we are back at it again. What a loss that every Good Friday has become just another set of annual routines that come and go without really doing much to stir me internally or externally.
Truth is that I don’t really think every day is just another day, mostly. Why? Because I’ve also not really treated Good Friday as just another weekend or just another family holiday. You see, for me the power of Good Friday sweeps over me like a heavy weight. I know what happened on Good Friday and even though the events of the day were anything but “good” I also know that it wasn’t the end of the story. I know Sunday’s a-comin’. I know, really KNOW, the truth of what we celebrate on Easter. I know that real witnesses saw the One nailed to the cross alongside two thieves who deserved to be there. He didn’t. I know that He could have taken Himself off that cross at any moment He desired. I know that He allowed Good Friday to happen because He KNEW that Sunday was a-comin’. I know that He was placed in a tomb because He was no longer alive in the flesh. I know that those who followed Him for three years and thought He was THE Messiah were dumbfounded even though they were told He was going to have to go through this ordeal. I know they despaired. I know that sometime during the third day the One who had died was no longer in the linens that he was buried in and the stone covering the outside of the tomb that would have been impossible for you and I to remove was rolled back and the One who had occupied it was no longer there. I know that some of His closest followers saw the empty tomb and even walked with Him along a road though they didn’t quite know it was Him at the time. I know He told them it WAS Him. I know that He presented Himself to more than 500 witnesses and to His disciples. I know that one of the disciples wasn’t quite sure and had to touch the wound in His side as proof that it WAS Him. I know that He then ascended into the clouds out of their site, as they witnessed and chronicled. And, I know that He then sent His Spirit into them and anyone thereafter who claims they too “know” that He had done all these things, just as He said He would because He was no ordinary man. He, indeed, was the Son of God. You ask me how I know these things. I learned that in Sunday School…because the Bible tells me so. And, more importantly because when I came to that point in my life that I knew what Christ had done and acted on what I knew and gave my life for Him, my life WAS changed—forever. I’m not the man I was before I knew what I now know. That’s how I know.
So, you see, for me and billions around the nation today, this isn’t JUST another Friday, weekend or annual Good Friday. Each day has meaning. And, today, my heart is heavy like it has been for more than 36 Good Friday’s. Though I know Sunday’s a-comin’, I also KNOW that Jesus Christ paid a heavy price so that I would know Him. And, every time I read the account of the Son of God being spat upon, whipped, tortured and crucified for me, my heart weighs heavy. And, then, when Sunday comes the joy is inexplicable. The freedom I feel is palpable. Sure, they may just be another Friday and Sunday on the calendar. But, for me, they represent the real joy and hope that when my days are done on this spinning hamster wheel, I will enter into His presence, complete and whole. Until that day, I get to live in the freedom of Easter while experiencing the heaviness of Good Friday. I’m so glad I KNOW what I KNOW. How about you?