Sometimes, I forget about Good Friday. Not intentionally, truly. I guess it’s just a lot easier to celebrate life than it is death. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise I suppose. Nobody celebrates pain, rejection or loss. People don’t look forward to heartbreak, broken relationships, seasons of loneliness or grief. We just don’t. But the reality is, joy is so much sweeter because we’ve tasted sorrow. We know the triumph of an accomplishment because we are also familiar with the sting of failure. As hard as it may be to accept, true joy and celebration only exist because sorrow and loss also rest in the possible future. One can't live without the other.
So Easter is around the corner and we celebrate the risen Lord. We drop to our knees in thankfulness that the grave is defeated, but we forget that for a brief moment in history, all hope seemed lost. Today we remember that moment; the moment the promised Savior of the world was dead. Along with every expectation, hope, and dream of His followers. All that they believed to be true was in question. But what a glorious plot twist it was when they met together Sunday, only to find that God had made a hopeless situation into something beautiful!
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11
Let today remind you of two things. First, we celebrate life because one perfect Man had to experience death. And our celebration lies not only in the gift of eternal life with Christ, but also in the deliverance from a life without him. We celebrate life because death happened and is no more. Secondly, the Word promises that whatever pain, loss, or death you are feeling in your life today will be turned into beauty in the Lord's time. I don't really know the fullness of what God is doing, it's hard to understand. I daily have to remind myself that the Lord shares my sorrow and feels my pain.
“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.” ~Isaiah 61:3, NLT
So today I celebrate death, Jesus’ death, because it leads to life. I celebrate Friday, because it led to Sunday. And I celebrate what seemed like a loss, because Christ has proven that He only leads His followers into victory. The hardest part is always the Saturday in between.