The past month has been difficult to say the least. A deadly virus has hit our shores and life has taken on a new normal. But in a strange way, COVID-19 has refocused my thoughts during this Holy Week. The Hosannas and celebration of pre-COVID-19 life have given way to painful realities, suffering and even death.
As we reflect on the events of Holy Week, we see the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Palm branches waived, people shouted, “Hosanna” Then, Jesus was betrayed and later hung on the cross. So much changed so quickly for His followers. Elation gave way to despair. Christ suffered and was put to death. What must the witnesses have thought?
Did they give in to momentary despair like many who are undone by this virus? Or did they try to remain optimistic, recalling the prophetic words of Christ and the Scriptures? In the natural, all appeared to be lost and there was so much sadness prior to that Easter day. The cup of suffering was not removed.
Philip Yancey, in his book, “The Jesus I Never Knew,” points out that when Christ gave breath to his last words, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), He used the word, “God” instead of “Abba” or “Father.” Christ felt abandoned by the Father during His darkest hour.
When tragedy strikes, that same sense of momentary abandonment is felt. But in the spiritual realm, the darkness of Good Friday eventually gives way to the light of Easter morning. Yancey says, Easter holds out the promise of reversibility. Destruction and even death can be reversed because of what Christ accomplished on the Cross. Easter is the starting point. It is a preview of an ultimate reality. Our present lives are the contradiction of what is to come.
So, as many of us grieve and struggle with uncertainty, Easter brings hope. If God could do what He did on Easter, then what more does He have for us eternally? Easter is a glimpse of eternity.
Yancey also points out that the physical scars Christ suffered remained on His transformed body as a reminder that painful memories may never completely go away, but the hurt of those scars eventually will. As we rebuild our lives from devastating times, remember that Holy Week reminds us that someday, we all get a new start. Tears will be gone. Suffering will be no more.
After Good Friday, comes Easter–the hope of new life! Hope in Christ! Happy Easter!The hope of Easter