One minute holiday and festival, the next tragedy. People must have wondered how Heaven could allow such an atrocity.
The previous Sunday had seemed so promising with its celebration parade, but by Friday afternoon they’d witnessed betrayal, injustice and murder. There must have been anger, resentment and fear, but probably above all deep sorrow for such incredible loss.
He was such a good man. Kind, gentle, funny sometimes, unfailingly trustworthy. He did God stuff like he was, well, God almost. Perhaps that’s why some hated him so much and had to get rid of him. It was as if they felt threatened by goodness and purity that were real.
Friday seemed like a dreadful end, but it’s strange for some are talking about the possibility of new beginnings. It still hurts, but there is now also comfort. If Jesus was the ‘Son of God’, it somehow helps to know that he has been here and shared our suffering and grief.
More, some say that even his appalling death was part of a bigger plan. That his good life, offered in sacrifice, makes up for our broken, compromised lives and makes a better relationship with our Maker possible. That has to be good!
And then there’s this Sunday! We’re talking empty tomb, angels and people saying they’ve seen, spoken with and even touched Jesus, alive again and seemingly more powerful than ever!
Like hope has been reborn. Like the party has resumed!
We can still expect our share of trouble this side of heaven. But even though it hurts deeply in the short-term, Christians do not ‘grieve like those who have no hope’ (1 Thessalonians 4 v 13).
For the One we follow has suffered with us and for us and has risen in triumph over evil and death. He walks with us through it all. Fridays, Sundays, every day. And all those things He said about ‘eternal life’ feel more possible now.
Right now that’s really good.
When we must say goodbye
Lord, I need your help again, this time
To do what is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,
To consider and now face what I’ve always found unthinkable.
It seems that it is time to say goodbye,
Time to take leave of someone I care about very deeply.
My head tells me it is so, and yet my heart resists the inevitable.
I honestly don’t want to do this. Please help me, us…
Thank you for the precious times we’ve been given to share,
The gifts of life and love to nurture and enjoy,
The privilege of laughing and crying our way through so much together,
Becoming so much a part of each other, inseparable.
Except now you are separating us, at least for a while,
And I, we, need to know Lord, that you really do have us covered,
Here, there, wherever!
That by your grace we are forgiven, accepted, rescued and secure;
That the One who died and rose again is preparing a place,
And waiting to welcome all God’s children there,
There, where these tears will be wiped away
And all will be made new.
So, help us rest now Lord, and when the time comes,
Part us with your blessing,
Help us to release each other into your care,
In faith, in hope and in never ending love.