The adjectives we use to describe these days are true, but also ironic. I don’t think anyone who attended the crucifixion and saw their teacher, their healer, and their friend hanging from a cross, nailed to the wood like the sign over his head, was happy. I doubt anyone who loved Jesus felt happy when they discovered his grave had been robbed. Good and happy…we can use these words now, but just imagining the heartbreak, the tears streaming down faces, the screaming at others. Knowing you couldn’t unsee the sight of your son or your brother or your friend tortured and dying. Today, Good Friday and Easter are dates we circle on a calendar. They’re well-meaning friends saying, “Don’t you know Easter is actually a pagan holiday?” We call the days Good and Happy.
I described it to a friend on Friday, telling her that calling the day ‘Good’ felt like calling a magnificent sunset pretty. It’s true, but it falls utterly short of what the day really is.
Today is the day you’ll be told ‘Happy Easter!’ numerous times. Happy. Such a small word.
“Why are you looking for someone who is still alive?” ask the angels. A heartbroken woman meets a gardener who turns out to be the Son of God, resurrected and alive. Word begins to spread – the grave wasn’t robbed. Jesus just left. “He can’t, he’s dead.” But what if he isn’t?
Jesus folded the clothes he left inside the tomb. Back then, folding your napkin at the table meant ‘I’m not done yet.’ Jesus wasn’t done, and he still isn’t. He’s coming back.
Good Friday. Happy Easter. Yes, maybe the fact we can wholeheartedly call these days good and happy – maybe that’s what it’s all about.