This is the one day of the year that makes sense of the rest for me, that says, there is hope, don’t give in, worse has been endured, your pain is understood, someone has been along and absorbed it all already, scooped up the fall-out and is offering a hand, saying, come on, it’s this way, I’ve been there already and I can lift you out.
It’s not that the world is any less troubled since that first Good Friday. There’s so much in the world that doesn’t make sense, that seems unfair, that I could take issue with. But I can’t point a finger at a god who doesn’t care because he isn’t there. Instead I can reach out a hand to God who has walked amongst us, has taken the worst we can throw at him; he has the marks on his hands to prove it. This is Jesus, not some remote deity who set galaxies spinning and sat back to watch. It’s Jesus who said, I’ll deal with their brokenness and humanity, I’ll take my share of that – I’ll take their share, too. I’ll take the hatred, the insults, the suffering, the isolation, the unfair load of worldly grot and I’ll bear it. I’ll bear it until every last insult has been hurled, every once-sparkling promise broken, every sad violation committed, every injustice dealt and I’ll bear it up to my Father. I’m big enough to take it. Then they won’t be able to say I don’t care, I don’t understand, I don’t know how it feels, that I’m distant, unloving, unfair. They will see my arms stretched wide in welcome, acceptance that comes no bigger… I’ll die for it, for them. I’ll clear the blocked passages between them and heaven, let them know they’ll always have a home, not just when their days are done but now, in amongst it all. This is my refuge: it’s a cloak spread wide above their heads in the rain, that’s wide enough for all humanity as each responds and shares saying, come inside, we’ve a place to shelter. It’s a canopy that will stretch over the whole earth, each place and person I spoke into being, forgiveness draped over the whole show, nothing, no one beyond its reach. It says, it is finished. But my work for them is never done, they will call on me and I will be there. I’m there already. They only have to ask.