Before the Cross – Easter Devotion 17

Though Holy Week began with shouts of “Hosanna” and celebration with waving palms, joyful faces, and hopeful hearts, it landed five days later in darkness, questions and the quietness of a graveyard. Crucifixion had crushed the last hopes of believers and brought assurance to the enemies of Christ that the problems He had created were ended.

The joyful shouts ended in tears of grief; the hopeful faces were now tear-streaked and numbed by grief. And questions hung in the air like thick smoke. “Why?” “Why Jesus?” “What will we do? Where will we turn? How will we go on?” “If He was the Son of God and righteous, how could this have happened to Him?”

We don’t like questions. We don’t like them on tests, we don’t like the unknown. We are uncomfortable when movies or books end without resolution. And yet “Good Friday” as it was known could have been symbolized by a giant question mark.

The unknown is always uncomfortable. Whether we are facing a test at school or an undiagnosed illness, not knowing is not a good place. Questions are part of human existence and yet we could wish that little curved squiggle with a period underneath never existed. We want to know.

Sometimes, we don’t. It is remarkable that, of the Seven Statements spoken by Jesus at the cross that one was a question. “Eloi, eloi, lama sabacthani.” “My God, my God why have you forsaken Me?”

Jesus asked the question because… in that moment… HE DIDN’T KNOW. It was a real question, asked in real distress. And He made it OK for us to ask the same question. Sometimes we wonder why. Why me? Why this? Why this darkness… this pain… this circumstance?

And for two days the question hung in the air like a dark curtain pulled over creation. Silence met the question, and the questioner. Hopelessness seemed to triumph. The wicked were rejoicing… the righteous seemed to have lost.

Then the answer came…..

And Sunday morning dawned.

FOR MEDITATION: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him…. Romans 8:28

FOR REFLECTION: Maybe you are waiting today in your Good Friday moment of unanswered questions. But take heart. God forsook Jesus at the cross so He would never have to forsake you. Hope in that. Sunday is coming!

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