For most of my life I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should.
For the rest of my life, I skipped Friday and went right to Sunday.
But something I’m re-appreciating and hopefully doing so on a deeper level is… what if I, like those who followed Jesus, didn’t know? What if Friday was all I knew for three agonizing days?
What if I was a disciple, or Mary, or Nicodemus? What if I was Lazarus or the man blind from birth, or even the Roman soldier?
What if the end was Friday? Or so I thought.
Forget the prophecies about Jesus coming back, it is my pure speculation that it might have crossed some minds of Jesus followers, but then dismissed like mere fantasy.
I had dreams for years that my Dad would rise and hold me again (he died when I was five) but it never happened. I know what it feels like to have dreams die…. Literally.
Hiding in a room for fear of Rome or religious leaders. The Master is dead, the bloodhounds are out, and visions of the man you loved hanging on a cruel instrument of torture for all to see keep you in hiding. As much as you loved him, you don’t want to end up like him either.
Afraid, hungry, sleep deprived, and maybe the worst of it, your entire life, the entire direction and calling you thought God had revealed to you is now gone. Your memories flash from Jesus drinking wine at a party to Jesus declaring that the Elijah cup at Passover was his blood. From Jesus healing, to the betrayal of Judas mere hours ago.
Your life is in shatters. And frankly, you don’t know what the fuck to do.
Can we camp there for a bit. For just a couple days can we smell the sweat and the dead and the spices? Can we feel the wind in our face and stumble blindly about in the dark? Can we be so afraid of our own lives that we hide and lie and deceive? Can we feel complete hopelessness because our friend, our Rabbi, and our God is dead?
Paul says that in order to rise with Christ we must die with him. I know there’s a deep, true spiritual meaning to this; but I also think it’s very simple. Paul was not a stranger to seeing people executed by Rome as they happened publicly all around him. Paul himself was no stranger to pain and torture. I think Paul doesn’t want us to create a spiritual meaning while forsaking the memory of those who lived it.
So let us, till Sunday, end Good Friday with a period and imagine that Sunday never comes. For me, it will make Sunday much more meaningful if I pretend it’s not coming.