Easter Sunday is just around the corner. It is the time of year Christians around the world focus on Jesus’ resurrection. There is a real part inside us that would just like to skip right over Good Friday and land on Easter Sunday, kind of like watching The Passion of the Christ and using the scene forward button to skip half the movie…we just can’t take it. It would be like reading The Old Man and the Sea and taking out everything that had to do with fish. The story wouldn’t ever become a classic if it left out the tension. It would just be a story about a tired old man’s conversation with a kid that skipped right to a really tired old man talking having a second conversation with a kid.
Sometimes we would rather skip the blood and shame Jesus experienced…and that is understandable. It is just too much for us. Fortunately for God, it was enough. It is easy to feel that way about the Jesus story because the cross is not a comfortable place to hang out. I would rather see Roman soldiers running afraid of the angels than I would see them put nails in the hands of my Savior. I would rather hear a victory speech than words of seeming defeat. I would rather smile and laugh than cry. It is how we are wired…to avoid pain and seek pleasure. The cross hits one of those and the empty tomb the other and so we avoid the cross and seek out the empty tomb.
And we do get the victory…but first we get death. We get the wait. The tension. The questions of his disciples…some of whom had gone back to fishing…will he stay dead or will he rise just like he said he would? You can’t have Easter Sunday until you go through Good Friday.