Sunday is Coming . . . But It’s Still FridayBy Steve | April 2nd, 2010 | Category: Theology & Practice | 4 comments
It’s noon on Good Friday. Tonight I will gather with others to commemorate the death of Jesus of Nazareth. I will walk away mournful and filled with awe.
Reformed Theology isn’t my personal cup of tea, but one of the petals on John Calvin’s TULIP means a lot to me on Good Friday. Total depravity – it is my condition, and it is the condition of the world. That is why I am mournful. But on Good Friday, my Rabbi, my hoped-for Messiah, Jesus is pinned to a cross to die.
We non-Catholics love to emphasize Resurrection Sunday, and rightly so – it is our greatest hope. I once had a conversation with a church worship leader who was planning music for a Good Friday service that included celebratory songs about the Resurrection. I challenged this person to not lose focus on the darkness of Good Friday. For this one day of the year, I find it important to prevent myself from thinking about Sunday. I don’t enjoy it much, but I think it’s important to resist the urge to escape the tension too quickly.
Yes, I know Sunday’s coming, I know. But Sunday finds so much of its value because of Friday. Without Friday, this Messiah would be still be worth following. But without Friday, Sunday’s Resurrection is just another repeat of the miracle received by Mary and Martha’s brother, Lazarus. Without Friday, Jesus could have just as easily died from pneumonia. Friday represents so much more than that. Raising people – others, or yourself – is no small feat, but it is not the whole story when it comes to taking away the sins of the world.
So I hope the people I interact with today will forgive me if I come across as a little cranky, especially when I hear or read the excited, eager anticipation of Sunday. I, too, look forward to Sunday. But Sunday isn’t as big a deal without Friday . . . and Friday is kind of a heavy.