For moments they almost forget, but then it crashes down on them once again – Jesus is dead.
Shock, horror, their chests constrict, breathing shallow and painful. Hope has gone, flowing away in water and blood. Their world covered in darkness, the very ground shaking under their feet. There is no comfort, no solace, no words to say.
Those who do not yet know that Jesus is alive are still living on that day in between His death and resurrection. How bleak, how void of hope, to just trudge through a life without Him.We know. We know what tomorrow will bring. Not because we have more faith, but because we have been gifted with the knowledge. Those very disciples who today shudder, will tomorrow proclaim the truth that reverberates to this day.
We rush to Easter, and with good cause. Today feels bad. As awful as yesterday was, there was something to do, something to see. We have traveled from the Upper Room to Gethsemane to Herod's palace to Golgatha and the cry My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? We are spent. Listless. Exhausted from the journey.
We yearn for Easter and so we push past today. But, today is where many in our world are living. They see stories of horror but cannot comprehend them. They get through their days, perhaps filling them up to force some kind of meaning into them.
When they allow themselves to reflect, they quickly back away. Meaningless to work hard, make a legacy, even to do good, since in the end there is just the blackness of death.
I encourage us to take time today to be in this place of hopelessness. It may sound wrong or even heretical, but I encourage us to try to imagine a world where Jesus is dead. Where what we see around us is the only reality and where there is no future. Where the tomb is sealed up, and with it, hope.
Where Jesus was a great moral teacher who did some pretty incredible things, but in the end, was just a man. A man who died. Just like all of us will.
Of course, we know the truth of tomorrow, but for just a time, let us pretend that we do not. I know it doesn’t feel good, but that is the point.
My prayer is that abiding here will move our hearts once again for those who have no Easter sunrise. For whom tomorrow is no different from today.
My prayer is that tomorrow will be brighter for the time we spend in darkness today. That glimpsing the flat, lifeless vista of a world without Christ will strengthen our resolve to proclaim Him, risen and reigning.
The world is stuck in today. Let us experience this, and allow it to break us. Allow it to seep in, pushing out the lie that anything other than Jesus Christ can heal and bring hope. We know tomorrow is coming. But, for today, let’s allow ourselves to remember why we need it.