How do you function on a day like today? I just can't figure out how to do the stuff that’s normal and not curl into a ball, washed in the sadness of Holy Friday? (It’s hard for me to call it Good Friday so I’m using the vernacular some other parts of the world use instead.)
My stomach turns at the brutality of the mob who called for the execution of an innocent man, God’s Beloved who came to teach Love. This morning I woke to read that familiar bible passage and I got to thinking about the people in the crowd. I wrote on the thin, delicate page of the Good Book this question: Why were they so determined?
I wondered about everything the mob carried there that day. I thought about the ways they represent every bit of the dark side of humanity that lived then and lives now. The violence. The judgement. The way we are prone to follow the crowd. The anger. The jealousy. The lack of understanding or even trying to understand. The fear about speaking up against popular opinion even when we believe it’s wrong.
The imperfect parts of every one of us are represented in that angry mob. No exceptions.
And then, there’s the polar opposite: Jesus. Standing alone, facing it all, representing the ultimate in love and sacrifice for another. Taking the beating, the mocking, the spitting, the crown of thorns, the nails hammered through one hand, then then the other, and then His feet. Imagine the hammer. The nails. The pain. The torture. The brutality that one human inflicts on another. It makes me grimace and turn away from the page that recounts these events, away from the images and the thoughts in my mind.
Darkness blocks the most brilliant of Light. But not for long. We have the distinct and blessed advantage of knowing it’s not for long. Thank God.
As I’ve gotten older and have attempted to go deeper into my life and my God, the weight of this day has grown. Last Sunday as I read about Jesus’ conviction to an intimate group of church friends, I was overcome with sorrow about humanity showing up with the worst they had to offer Jesus. It’s hard to take, in part because they represent the times that you and I and the rest of the world show up with the worst we have to offer. And like it or not, we do, in big ways and small.
Today, as I think about those times, I push myself from the mob of humanity and shift closer to Jesus, where I want to be, standing by Him on this dark day, knowing that there is blessed Light on the other side.
Today, tomorrow and every day, may we all be aware of our place in the crowd and may we be determined to move ever closer to Jesus’ side.
Praying for God’s blessing and guidance for all…