This week we will celebrate Good Friday. To help get myself prepared for the service at our church, I decided to spend each day reading different passages that describe the day Christ was crucified. The first passage was John 19:28-30, which tells us: “Jesus knew that His mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture He said, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to His lips. When Jesus had tasted it, He said, ‘It is finished!” Then He bowed His head and released His spirit.”
As I read that passage, I found myself thinking about what it was like for the followers of Jesus who were there that day. I’m sure they would not have described that day as “good”. Instead, I’m sure it felt extremely painful and discouraging, as they saw Christ die, and saw their hope for the future die as well. We have to remember that these folks had not experienced Easter yet, and so they didn’t know how the story was going to unfold. They were experiencing the agonizing loss of a beloved son, brother, teacher and friend – the one who had held their hope for the future.
As I’ve pondered that this week, it’s occurred to me that what those first followers of Jesus experienced when He was crucified is what we can experience in our own lives as well - even though we do know how the story of Jesus’ crucifixion ends. For example, we can experience a setback in our lives - either at work, or in a relationship, or financially, or with a persistent sin - and can be left feeling like there is no hope. We feel like our situation is so bad, or so overwhelming, that life will never be good again. However, in that moment, what we’re forgetting is that “Easter is coming”. In other words, we’re forgetting that God has a plan that goes beyond our current circumstances. A plan that is for our good.
So today, no matter what we’re facing, let’s remember that “Easter is coming”. Let’s focus on the fact that our story isn't over, and that even though our current situation might feel hopeless, or overwhelming – it actually isn’t. God raised Christ from the dead, and in doing so, He defeated the enemy and gave us an eternal hope that we can cling to during the darkest days. He sees the beginning and the end, so let’s trust Him today, and keep our eyes focused on the one who has the power to raise Jesus from the dead.