I have to admit that the name ‘Good Friday’ has always baffled me; surely that Friday all those years ago was anything but good. Isn’t it amazing how hindsight can change our perspective on things? We know now that Friday had to happen, we know now that Sunday is coming, we know now that Jesus is ‘seated … at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.’ (Ephesians 1:20). Maybe it is my obsession with context, but I can’t help consider the pain of that Friday, not only for Jesus, but also for the faithful onlookers. I don’t want to look back for the purposes of feeling guilty, because we know that there is ‘now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1). I want to look back from the perspective of dealing with the present whilst trusting in what is to come.
We often talk about big picture and detail, the now and the not yet and how we are called to live in tension between what we see now and the perfection that awaits when Christ comes again. Living that out can be easier said than done. Jesus stated very clearly to those around him that he had to die, but would rise again (Matthew 8:31). What’s clear is that they couldn’t cope with the information or begin to comprehend the ‘good’ in it all. The disciples struggled to see beyond the now to the not yet, they struggled to trust God with the big picture. We have to live through the detail in order for the big picture to come about, that’s the difficult bit, not understanding and yet being called to trust, being called to have faith.
If God had revealed to me a couple of years ago that I would be the Pastor at LLCC and about to become Pastor of KBC I would have run a mile in the midst of a struggle to believe. Yet the detailed outworking of the past 8 years of my life have bought me to a place where I still struggle but can have faith in God’s faithfulness and equipping. Equally there are those things that have happened to Catrin and I that I struggle to see any purpose in. The only way to come through those moments is to trust in God, to look to Him and His power to redeem.
As we journey through Holy Week and into Easter, let’s consider the Easter story afresh. Let’s consider the pain in the narrative and also the joy. Let’s take heart from the way in which God showed himself to His people in their lack of understanding. Let’s pray that we would be a church of big picture people who look to God, and trust in Him completely for the future.