Light through the Darkness

April 2, 2021

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 |Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9 | John 18:1-19:42 | Psalm 22

Growing up in an Irish/Catholic household, Good Friday was spent eating very little and being in church. I never quite understood it. It was depressing, like living in a dark cloud. I would feel like I was walking around in sackcloth and ashes moaning and wailing over a God who had forsaken me. In my heart I knew that was not true because God loves me, but I could never reconcile this day of darkness with that love.

As I have aged (and hopefully grown wiser), I see Good Friday from a different perspective. Instead of the dark cloud I grew up with I see light through the darkness. I look at this day’s scriptures and see Isaiah foretelling the life of Jesus; the psalm a pathway to forgiveness. Yes, we (Adam and Eve) were disobedient and were cast out of the garden, a wall made between us and the God who took joy spending time with us daily. But God’s love is so all encompassing that he made a pathway for us to return to him. That pathway is Jesus’ death, a sacrifice to remove our disobedience, a pathway so we might be forgiven, the wall removed between God and us.

Can we really grasp the enormity of God’s love for us? As I sat in a hospital room with my young son waiting for a diagnosis that would determine life or impending death, I had a glimpse of the cost of that pathway to forgiveness. That God would love us so much that he would willingly offer the life of his child in exchange for mine is mind-boggling. That God wants to be able to spend time with me and wants me to spend my life with him, surrounded by His love is overwhelming.

As I look at the New Testament readings, I see not so much what is being asked of Jesus, but what He is asking of us. Jesus offering, over and over, that pathway to everyone he meets along the way to Golgotha. God, just waiting for someone to say, “I believe”.

And so Good Friday has become a very special day for me. A day, not filled with darkness, but overflowing with light. A day to reaffirm my belief in a God who walks with me every day, a God who listens, who cares, who provides and who understands. This is a day spent not wailing over the darkness, but reveling in the light of a God who loves me, fills me with joy and gratitude and praise. And all God asks of me is to say “Yes, I believe”.

This Song sums up Good Friday for me.

Cynthia Lovejoy