I think most itinerant preachers rejoice when they are invited to preach on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. These are the BEST DAYS in the story of the cosmos. Just three days – but transformative of everything! It is the greatest annual privilege - to remember the day of crucifixion that we subsequently dare to call Good Friday, and then to celebrate Easter Day with the resurrection of Jesus as the glorious fact on which all worship and life is founded.
I am preaching these services at Water’s Edge Bible Church in West Chicago. The music director wrote to me describing their usual pattern. “Our Good Friday service is reverent, but not morbid. Jesus died once and for all and though we want to remember his sacrifice on that night we also want to acknowledge that the work has been finished since the one and only death and resurrection occurred.”
As I prepare I am working with John 19: 16-30 for Good Friday. And I see that claim of Jesus: ‘It is finished’ is such a powerful focus. On Easter Day we need to hear not only Mark 16:1-8, but 1 Cor. 15:12-20. It has struck me again how Mark, in a gospel of only sparse details, emphasizes that the stone was very large. How could it be rolled away? What a metaphor for Easter glory and our response.
This week we tread through the sorrow to the glory of Easter and celebrate how Easter faith is for daily living in which we die, only to live again. Let’s offer our best this Holy Week.