The week began as a celebration. Their King, the chosen one of Israel, had arrived to make all wrongs right. They laid a path of palm branches before him; they laughed, and danced, and sang.
Then Friday arrived.
Suddenly, their savior seemed nothing of the sort. Arrested, taking the place of a vicious criminal, he was mocked and scorned; scourged and crowned with thorns. He made no attempt to fight back. They watched in horror as he struggled to carry a wooden cross to Golgotha, Skull Hill . . . as the soldiers hammered nails into his hands . . . as the cross was put in the ground . . .
To those who had believed in his physical power, it was humiliating; to those who had walked with him–who loved him as a son and brother, friend and mentor–it was heartbreaking. The boy they watched grow up; the teenager they watched learn his father’s trade; the man they watched heal the sick, feed the hungry, love the unlovable was being tortured right before their eyes. And there was not a thing they could do about it.
When he spoke out in pain and anguish, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”–“My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”–it was nearly more than they could bare.
When he said, “It is finished” no doubt they thought he meant their hope.
We tend to gloss right over the fact that it was a dreadful day, full of unspeakable misery and despair. It’s only good because of what happened on the third day. On the third day, that borrowed tomb was empty. Death no longer held sway.
Because of that fact, no matter how dark the day, how hopeless the situation, there is, indeed, hope.
It may be Friday, my friends, but Sunday’s on the way . . .