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Between Death and New Life

Today is Good Friday.  Whether you grew up in the church or not, we all have heard the story behind this day. And, we know how it turns out.  But what we often don't know what to do with is the awkward time between Good Friday and Easter morning.  We love to jump ahead to the rest of the story. In fact, it's easy for us, knowing how the story goes, to almost skip over what it must have been like for Jesus's followers from the time he died until....

Until what?  That's just it.  They didn't know what was going on after he had been killed and buried, but they did know that how they thought things would be were not as they were now.  Something went wrong.  All they knew now was...

Confusion.

Hurt.

Disappointment.

Hopelessness

Maybe even betrayal

Let down

Numb

Have you ever felt that way?

These followers of Jesus had given up so much to follow him.  They had put their faith, hope and trust in him and now he was gone. It was over.  Now what.

How do you begin to regroup from such a disorienting experience?  I don't know about you, but I've had those times in my life where I've felt as though I'm in limbo, trying to figure out what's next, now what.  Sometimes- often- life doesn't go like we planned, or like we thought it would or should.  Then what?

Maybe that's part of the mystery that we are invited into during this time before Easter morning.  Not knowing how it all turns out.  Not seeing the entire picture.  Not fully understanding the purpose of the deaths we experience.  Deaths of dreams, hopes, desires, longings, relationships, security.  Whatever it might be that is important to us.  Death.

May we each embrace the mystery of not knowing, of not having it all figured out, of not having life go according to the plan, and lay it all down at the foot of the cross.

In the words of Mark Waltz, "Easter is coming, but don't miss Friday."

4 comments:

  1. This is a great thought. Jesus' followers must have wondered if the last three years of their life had been in vain. It's hard to read the Bible and pretend I don't know the outcome of the stories. If I could I’d get a whole new perspective.

    And, yes, it's a reminder that God has a plan and a purpose for those unknown types of experiences in our own lives. When I was younger, I used to make plans and amazingly most of them worked out. It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties/early thirties that I begin to realize that it might be best to ask what his plans were rather than always telling him mine!

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    1. Aleta, I think its part of how God processes us and matures us is to meet us, if we're willing, during those times when things don't work out like we planned. Not surprised at all that you encountered those times in your 20's! It happened in a significant way to me, then, too.

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  2. I think its the mystery that makes the Christian life. We so often expect God to function the way we do or the way we want him too. Maybe thats our way of trying to humanize God and figure Him out. However,the older I get, the more I have been learning to rest in the fact that God is God...I'm not...He has a picture I don't see and He is NEVER late nor in a hurry...and...this is NOT all there is!! So, in a way, we are like the disciples...we too have no idea how life continues. We walk by faith, not by sight.

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    1. Kathy, I so agree with you that mystery is much more a part of the Christian life than I realized when I was younger. Yet as I've learned to live with less certainty, I've also learned to live with a great hope knowing that while I don't know, God does. Thanks for your comments!

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