I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Good Friday. Isn’t it just the unfortunate pause before Easter? Hasn’t Lent been long enough? There’s only so much my heart can take of the remembering. Bring on the chocolate bunnies and the Easter morning frocks. I’m ready to gather my little chicks all together and feed them well, take lots of pictures and feast until my heart’s content.
But the historic church has taught me to linger here, in the pain. They don’t rush past it. My church is having a prayer vigil every hour of the day today. They seem to know how to embrace suffering—to stay in it long enough to find the gratitude, to walk with Jesus to the cross. The wisest saints stay there with Mary—through the darkness, that hovers like fire. I’m learning to live there, too. I suppose Jesus could have chosen another way, maybe an easier path, something more tidy than the horror of bloodshed. And why linger in the sorrow for three days, sick to death from the burden of our sin? Why so long? Why so much heartache?
Because He loved us so much that He wasn’t afraid to be broken, no matter what the cost, no matter how long.
And I’ve spent enough time with sorrow to know that this is where the magic happens. This is where He takes down our demons, this is where He wrestles with doubt and hopelessness and fear. This is where He transforms and makes new. Because this is where He gave up, gave in, surrendered to the will of the Father.
This is where we were made to live, in the veiled glory of Good Friday. Easter is coming, to be sure. But learn to live here first, in the brokenness. Don’t despise today. His suffering is for you. And me. We spend so much time and effort presenting our best selves to the world but He came to be broken and His heart is to see us live there, too. We want prosperity. He bore a cross. We want an easier way. He blazed an impossible path. We want to be liked. He came to love. And His love, on display on Good Friday, changed the world.
Stay with Him, here, until it’s time.
Stay here, at the cross, where sounds of broken Hallelujahs ring out through the ages.
Blessed Good Friday to you, dear friends.
“Love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.”