Today is the day before Easter and, as Jesus’ first disciples did, we mourn (in a sense) for yesterday. We mourn for the happenings of that first Good Friday—that terrible Friday those many years ago when our Lord died on Calvary.
On that day, in that moment, so many things were contrary. So many things were unspeakably wrong. The Son of God was put to death by the sons of men. He who was without sin was made sin for sinners. The cup of wrath was drunk by one who would only show mercy. He who only did good received only evil; he who showed only love received only hate. He cried out, “Father, forgive them!” on behalf of those who deserved to be forsaken; and the only one who deserved the Father’s fellowship cried out, “My God, my God; why have you forsaken me?”
The Light of the world hung there, enshrouded by three hours of darkness. Earth’s Cain killed Heaven’s Abel; and the sons of Adam crucified the Son of Man. The hands that formed man from the dust were nailed by a man. He who commanded the trees to grow was lifted up on a tree. He who made heaven and earth was hung there between heaven and earth.
So many things were backwards! So many things were wrong!! He who was in the beginning said, “It is finished.” The King was crowned, but not with gold. The crown of thorns he wore matched the reed he held; in a hand that holds the scepter of eternity. His robe clothed a back beaten by his subjects until they stripped him naked for his whole kingdom to see the shame. Before him pagans bowed: in mockery, not in worship. He who could have called legions of loyal angels to his aid was betrayed by a friend. Once his disciples argued over who would sit on his right hand and on his left. Now two thieves hung on his right hand and on his left. He came down from heaven; and earth put him through a living hell.
Life died on a tree. Life was buried in a tomb. The Judge of the living laid down among the dead. He who called Lazarus out of the grave was put into a grave himself. He raised the son of a grieving mother; now his mother grieved for him. He—who promised that his followers would never die—was dead.
We mourn! He promised us joy and his death brings us weeping. Could we have known that his promises of life would end like this? Could this man really die? Could he really stay dead?