When I was young, no one worked on Good Friday. Businesses were closed and people went to church. I remember sitting though one very long service. I wanted to leave but my grandmother told me that we needed to stay to get the sadness out. What sadness I wondered? My Grandmother had been preparing all week for the big Easter dinner. There was a ham soaking in ginger ale, scalloped potatoes waiting to be cooked in the refrigerator, and a green bean casserole. I was happy thinking about the family getting together.
Everybody has sadness, she said. When we come to church to mourn the death of Jesus, it allows us to feel our own sadness. We know God is sad about people killing his son so we know God understands what it’s like to be sad. God knows what it is like to feel devastated, hopeless, and alone.
“But doesn’t Jesus get resurrected?” I asked. “We don’t talk about that on Good Friday.” She said. “The disciples didn’t know what was going to happen. We need to be like them. Let it sink in about what happened to Jesus and why.”
“Why did those people kill Jesus?” I asked.
“They were afraid that the love he showed the people would make the people rise up against them and they would lose their power. The tried to kill that love by crucifying Jesus.”
They tried to kill the love of God?
“They tried to kill the love of God. They wanted to exert their power over the people and their land. So they killed Jesus in a horrific and public way. Instead of fighting back, he went to the cross to atone for all of us.
Let that sink in.”