that our faith is secure.
We don’t acknowledge that having doubts and asking hard questions could be a measure of great faith.
We don’t acknowledge that sometimes, belief is hard to come by, and that trusting despite having unanswered questions could be greater than never thinking through faith at all.
On this day, when Jesus was crucified, I’m going to guess that all of his followers doubted. After all, he was dead. A dead person couldn’t be the Messiah after all. All of their hopes and dreams for a Messianic overthrow of Rome were killed at the same time that Jesus took his last breath.
“It is finished,” Jesus said.
And so everyone else believed it was finished too. The Messianic hope had come to an end.
We forget–or don’t even realize–that. We believe in the resurrection of Jesus and so we pay little regard to the cross and his death other than “he died for me.”We read that we are supposed to “weep with those who weep,” yet, too often, we try to get people to stop weeping instead. To weep with others, or to bear their burdens, is to take on the pain that they are feeling, to enter into it and suffer with them. Why not use Good Friday to acknowledge this? Why not read from those Psalms or from Lamentations and let people who need to know they are not alone actually know they are not alone?
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest.
We think the words from Psalm 22 that Jesus quoted were only about him. But in reality, many of us experience this.
Rather than celebrating Good Friday, let’s spend time reflecting. Let’s spend time acknowledging the pain within us and entering into it and into the pain of others.
Let’s stop putting on our Sunday best, and instead, use today to put to acknowledge the fear we feel about admitting our doubts and questions and brokeness.
Because only when we put something to death can we have the possibility of new life.