“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
-Matthew 20:28 (NIV)
This Lenten journey has brought us to Good Friday, a day marked by nails and thorns and betrayal. It’s a day of solemn reflection, one commemorating Jesus’ death and a day where we should ask ourselves, “In which direction will we turn?”
Like renovating a dilapidated house or restoring a vintage car, but of course more extraordinary, God sees a possibility in death that’s difficult for us to imagine. In much the same way that children transition from one reality to another through birth, from the womb to a mother’s first embrace, the same thing happens in death — in death we are ultimately reborn into a new reality.
Over the last six weeks we’ve challenged ourselves to reflect on what it means to grow for Lent and love like Jesus. We’ve learned what it means to let go, to give, to be grateful, to show compassion and to look inward and reflect on not just the ways we already love others, but also on the ways that we don’t.
Good Friday is the day when the resiliency of life starts to become apparent, proving the energy of life can’t be destroyed. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, we’re shown that the most durable power in the universe is Love, and this is what we’ll celebrate at Easter.
We may believe we don’t deserve Easter; and even Jesus had his moments where he felt forsaken only to be surprised by God’s level of commitment. This feeling of being forsaken is part of all our lives, but it doesn’t have to be the ultimate reality for us. Good Friday does not signify the end — it marks the beginning.
The darkness of Good Friday will ultimately give way to the light of Easter. We’ll come together this Sunday as one great family and take part in the same celebration billions of people have participated in for over 2000 years. And we’ll greet the day through song, worshipping joyfully with our friends, families and neighbors, before going out into the world to share Jesus’ love.