i happened to have a quick coffee with a beautiful friend who is from Sweden. she told me that what we refer to as “Good Friday”, they call “Long Friday”. I don’t know about you, but word swaps like this can make all the difference for me. Long Friday is exactly what Jesus tormented trial and crucifixion must have been.
not to make anywhere near as significant a comparison, but i was brought to mind today the delivery of my last child. it was a scheduled C-section. it was both weird and unsettling for me to anticipate the exact hour and moment of my son’s arrival into the world, as compared to my other three non-scheduled deliveries. there were moments of dread mixed with a holy anticipation of meeting this new life for the first time. but the calculated operating room felt completely foreign to me. there was little there that made me feel natural in my own skin and i was instantly wishing i could run. i felt awkward and fully awake. i felt pain. i felt that my person hood was secondary to the procedure that was going on. and i had to keep going forward.
until my nurse midwife arrived and signaled for me to push.
i promise, no more details in this post, but suffice to say, there was a birthing moment when all of the pain and the confusion and the dread and the pressure lifted physically and supernaturally… and just like all of my other children arrived, so this new life was born.
for those who have loved Jesus for so long, this day of Long Friday is one where we anticipate with some dark dread to what’s coming. even those of us who live in this side of the cross, it seems unnatural and alarming that such events could take place upon the Son of God.
the crucifixion is real. we can see it and imagine it and read it and know it. it is as real to us as the resurrection on Sunday. we know that there will be a transformation of Jesus life. we know that Jesus does not stay in pain or in death or in darkness. but today does not feel that way when we meditate throughout the day and into evening the gravity of Jesus alone on the cross. it is awkward and painful to watch and how much more so for a singular man, Jesus, to endure.
be we watch and we wait for new life to come anyway.