Today marks the beginning of another Easter weekend. I am sitting here somewhat perplexed that it was this time last year that I awoke on the morning of Good Friday, with a sense of sadness, fear and anxiousness because I could not escape my reality of what would come only hours later.
It was last year on Good Friday that I was admitted to the hospital to deliver our baby who had passed away.
And I sit here this morning thinking back on those moments. So much emotion. So much raw emotion. Knowing what was ahead but not really knowing what was ahead because while I had delivered two babies in my life, I had never delivered a dead one. It was as if the day went by at a snail's pace, seconds ticking by on the clock so slowly, reinforcing the inevitable.
As I reflect on my Good Friday moments of 2015, I can't help but reflect on how Jesus, knowing that death was ahead, that death was part of His Father's best plan, maybe felt some of the same tension. Anxiousness, some sadness, timidity, and maybe some wishing away this part of His story? I don't know. I can't speak for Jesus, but His word tells us that He asked God to rewrite this part of the arrangement. Yet even in the asking of another way, Jesus continued to acknowledge that God's purposes are best.
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground." Luke 22:42-44
The anguish caused him to pray harder and with more conviction and caused his body to produce a deep sweat that I imagine He had not yet experienced.
And while God has not asked me to die as part of His best plan, He did require my son to die, and this piece of the puzzle sure lead me to experience a lot of the same that we see in these verses in Luke. Lots of anguish, lots of prayer, lots of physical and emotional sweat.
Hours later, as darkness filled the land and Jesus breathed His last breath, hope emerged. Hope emerged when the disciples and women at the tomb remembered His promise that life doesn't end with death. That though crucified, He would rise. That yes, He would die for a greater good, but that's not where the story ends.
Death isn't the end of the story.
It's only the beginning.
The good in Good Friday is the hope - the hope that one day all the sadness and fear and hurt and sickness and marital affairs and financial struggles and mental illness and terrorist attacks and pregnancy loss will be no more. These unfortunate events happen, but these events are not the end of our story. The empty tomb seals this promise. The strips of linen lying by themselves seals this promise.
And hope gives us a reason to smile when our world is crumbling beneath our feet.
Let's not diminish our troubles, but let's not forget the hope.
This is the good in our Good Friday moments.