I went to a Good Friday service that was a little different from ones I’ve been to before. The sanctuary was dark, except for the flickering of candles in the front and around the floor. They read scripture and sang songs about Jesus’ final hours on earth. Participation wasn’t in the doing, but in the observation – in the experience. It was a somber affair. I was sad.
I have been sad all week. There was a heaviness weighing on my heart and I couldn’t seem to shake it. As I sat in the service I lifted it up, but over and over again I was reminded of the fact that what I was going through, the sadness, the heartbrokenness, Christ went through it a million times more. The more I thought of it the more I started to picture and wonder about those last hours.
How deep was the rejection, when God turned his back away? It sliced through my heart; any rejection I feel or have felt, will never compare to the rejection that Jesus felt that afternoon when God could no longer look at him, when the father turned his face away from his son. Sitting there I imagined the pain, he must have felt as he experienced, for the first time, what we have to live with because of sin. The agony that he felt, I cannot express.
I thought about the disciples, the people who followed Jesus. How did they feel? How did they feel to see the person whom they believed to be God, whom they believed will bring the kingdom of God to earth, how did they feel to see him crucified? Maybe some of them felt disappointed. Maybe some of them felt like they were betrayed, like the wool was pulled over their eyes. Perhaps some felt like the rug was yanked out from under their feet and they were free-falling into an abyss of uncertainty.
Then what happened when they laid him in the tomb? What emotions were they experiencing when they spent that entire Saturday wondering if they would be next. Wondering if people would accuse them and crucify them. Did they question? Did they shed tears? Did they talk about what it was like when he was alive?
A heaviness must have filled them, a coldness that permeated from their heart and flowed through their veins, filling their body with dread.
In light of all these things I felt small. THIS is how it feels to be disconnected, to be separated from the one you love, the one you trust, the one you felt like you knew inside and out. I was overwhelmed.
I think it’s important to remember this feeling; the feeling of loss and despair – of hopelessness. I think it’s important because it makes what happens next even more extraordinary…