by Mackenzie Matthews on April 05, 2023
Holy Week is here! We look toward Sunday — the day we celebrate Jesus and His resurrection. It's the axis around which everything in our faith orbits.
But before we get to Easter Sunday, the Christian tradition focuses on the waiting and the heartache in Lent and Good Friday.
Lent is the lead-up, it's the season historically where we wait and prepare.
Are you a patient waiter? In our culture, we basically receive everything immediately. I get my coffee via mobile order, I have my groceries delivered, I get my notifications in real-time, and can access an unlimited amount of knowledge at my fingertips. Waiting has become a lost art. Our waiting muscles have atrophied. When we are forced to wait, well it doesn't often go well. Find someone in unexpected traffic, in a long line at the grocery store, or stuck behind a long and slow train. Most of us are not patiently worshiping Jesus in these moments, but instead, find ourselves irritated and irritable. We are in a wild hurry as a culture. Yet Lent invites us to posture our hearts to wait. To reduce ourselves and our expectations to make room for God.
Then we arrive in Holy Week where it is customary to focus on the last moments of Jesus' life. This culminates with Good Friday. The day we mourn and grieve the death of Jesus. That He had to die. That this world and our hearts within it are broken. We commemorate and contemplate this reality, gathering with others to retell the story of Jesus' final brutal moments before His death and resurrection. It is somber and sobering. No other way to slice it.
I have found myself more acquainted with the Good Friday posture in the last few years. More aware and in touch with the broken suffering of this human experience. It has felt like a Good Friday world — where tension, sickness, and sorrow reign. My questions for God seem to grow and grow, with the category "I just don't get this" having a much larger file.
But in the midst of this “Good Friday world,” Sunday is coming.
Jesus. He is who He said He is. His death and resurrection is the moment in human history that changed everything. Jesus defeating death is like the check clearing at the bank. He defeated death once and for all — His power, authority, and dominion over darkness all holds up: sturdy and true.
In the face of all the broken pieces, new life is coming. We have a hope that cannot be shaken. It most definitely doesn't mean that all our questions get their answers or all our longings and heartaches find their resolve on this side of heaven. Instead, we trust the character and promises of God in our in-between.
Jesus entered our world and experience. He became a helpless baby, completely dependent. Vulnerable. He lived a normal life. He found himself scorned, betrayed, mocked, and unjustly accused. He wept with His friends. He experienced intense anxiety in the garden. He asked God to make another way, then surrendered to the perfect will of God obediently. He died, fulfilling the promises of God, redeeming His people and all who are now grafted under his sacrifice.
In my darkest moments in the last few years, when hope felt dangerous and my faith felt like a mustard seed, I clung to this song by Sandra McCracken called "We Will Feast." In it is painted a picture of heaven. It speaks to the joy we will know. Like it says in Psalm 126.5, "Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy."
However this Holy Week finds you, however the "Good Friday-ness" of our world is making itself known to you, may you find HOPE in the promise and character and love of our God that stops at nothing to find us. It's a never-ending, never giving up, always and forever kind of love that we celebrate and honor this week.
Sunday is coming!