Tag Archives: Easter

Finding the Good in Your Dark Days

As the years go by and I get older in life and in my faith, I grow more in love with Easter.Finding the Good in Your Dark Days

The entire week leading up to it is a good time to reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus. As much as I love the celebration — yet loathe the flamboyant suits and hats in church — of Easter, I cherish Good Friday.

Historically, that was the bad day. That was when Jesus and His followers took the loss. It was a dark day in Jerusalem 33 A.D.

When I watch movies like Passion of the Christ, it’s heartbreaking seeing the crucifixion. Even though I know what will happen Sunday, I still am hurt by my Lord taking the beating on Good Friday.

But regardless of how it looked then, that Friday was good.

The term “Good” in the title denotes pious or holy. Yet the day is good in our common English sense of the word too.

Interestingly, by definition “good” means “approved of” or “having the qualities required of a particular role.” When we think about it that is so fitting for Good Friday. As horrible as that day seemed, it was “approved of” by God. And Jesus had “the qualities required of the particular role” of enduring the cross for our sins to establish the New Covenant.

Another definition of good is “a benefit to someone.” How great of a benefit was Good Friday to us?

So Good Friday is appropriately named.

Beyond that, Good Friday reminds me of what can come from a seemingly horrible situation. In 33 A.D., there was nothing good about that day. It sucked. Peter and all the other disciples who scattered were scared and confused. Mary, Jesus’ mother, and Mary Magdalene were in unimaginable pain and grief. They would have never thought, in the middle of the chaos and horror, that that day could ever be considered good.

But it is.

Regardless of what it looked like to everyone around, God knew that the end result would be good. And in hindsight, we see how good it was. We realize how it was to our benefit.

I can look back at my life and recall some days, moments and seasons that were dark. When I was in the middle of them, I couldn’t possibly see what good could come from it.

But the same God who turned the execution of His Son into the greatest miracle ever, also turned my worst experiences into my greatest areas of growth and maturity.

Can I look back on my trials and call them good? Well, by the aforementioned definitions, yes. Obviously I had the qualities required to endure those times. And now, I can see how they benefited me.

That’s not to say our trials don’t sting. It’s not to say we should welcome them. There is no pleasure or desire in suffering. But there is growth. There is a benefit to them.

So if you are in the middle of a trying, painful and frustrating situation and you see no light, remember that thousands of years ago there was a dark and depressing day in Jerusalem that we now call Good. One day, you’ll be able to say the same about your dark day.

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Silent Saturday

silent saturday tomb

By Kevin Howell

In Christian tradition, we don’t talk much about the Saturday of Easter weekend. Sandwiched between two of the most sacred and significant days in history, there’s little fanfare or recognition of it. We attend Good Friday church services and the all-popular Easter Sunday worship service (and the dinner afterward). But Saturday? Well, we go about our business.

It’s understandable because the Bible is silent about that Saturday, at least in the Gospel accounts. Saturday is a silent day.

But one can imagine what went on in Jerusalem that Saturday after Jesus was crucified. There was talk about whether the execution was justified, questions about that earthquake that followed his death and the curtain of the temple being completely ripped apart.

But for Jesus’ followers, it was pure hell. It’s easy for us to look forward with anticipation to Easter Sunday when we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. But the disciples didn’t have the book. They had nothing to look forward to, just unbearable grief, sorrow and questions. Despite Jesus teaching that He would resurrect, that didn’t cross their minds. Not after seeing how brutally he was beaten and how he gasped for air on that cross. Like any of us who have experienced the death of a loved one, a relationship breakup, or any major loss or disappointment, only time heals the pain. But those first days, weeks, even months, are painful. So that Saturday was painful for the Lord’s followers. And all they could look forward to was more grief; more questions.

Yet, the irony is that Saturday was anything but silent. While things on earth were confusing and somewhat chaotic, something extremely magnificent and vital was going on in the unseen world.

The Bible mentions that Jesus descended into the depths of the earth, freeing the captives (1 Peter 3:18-20; Eph. 4:8-10). Though there are various interpretations to the meaning of that scripture and whether it should be taken literally, we can conclude the process of the resurrection was taking place. And death was about to be defeated. On Good Friday, Jesus took away the penalty for our sins ... forever. On Saturday, He took away the sting of death, rendering it powerless over his people.

Silent Saturday reminds me of Moses in the book of Exodus when he was on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments — directly from God. He was gone like 40 days or something and the Israelites were trippin. They thought their leader was dead. No one had heard from him. They felt hopeless and confused. Yet, when it seemed like nothing was happening, and all was lost, probably the greatest divine, earthly encounter was taking place. Moses was talking to God, and literally saw Him. A man looked at God and lived to tell about it. That’s crazy.

In our silent times, when it seems like God is absent, when we are confused and we aren’t hearing anything from Him, just look back on history and realize that when it’s quiet down here, He’s up to something major up there.

 

What things are you waiting for? What are the unresolved areas in your life? While there is victory to come, our suffering in the now means something. Meditate on that this Silent Saturday.

 

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