BETWEEN GOOD FRIDAY AND PENTECOST
We have just celebrated Easter, a different celebration this year but the COVID-19 virus did not stop Easter from coming. Easter reminds us Who is in charge and it is not a virus or even the government telling us to stay home. Easter came this year and now we are on the road to Pentecost.
Dr. Fred Craddock put it this way, “Easter follows Good Friday. Forget this and Easter becomes a holiday, a celebration of spring rather than praise to God who gives life to the dead. To forget Good Friday is to neglect the fact that the risen and exalted Lord of the church has nails scars in His hands.” He continues, “Easter precedes Pentecost. Easter looks forward to the day when Jesus’ followers are clothed with power on high enabling them to preach to all nations. A church without Pentecost could not shout ‘He is risen’ loudly enough to sustain Easter week after week.”
So what does Easter the resurrection say to us today in light of all that is happening in our world? Easter tells us that suffering, evil and death are real but are not the final words. Easter says that we are not and do not have to be powerless in the face of suffering and evil and greed and death. We look around us and it feels like Good Friday. We look around us and there is death and evil. But Easter says it may feel like Friday but Sunday’s coming and Pentecost is on the horizon. God has conquered the powers of sin and evil and death which seeks to conquer us. God is recreating the world and people so that we can trust in the possibility of life.
This is how one minister put it: “It’s Friday. Good Friday. It’s a day that darkness settled all over the land. There was gloom everywhere. But Sunday’s coming. It’s Friday. It’s the day Jesus was denied by one of his closest friends, deserted by his disciples and betrayed by a friend’s kiss. But Sunday’s coming. It’s Good Friday. It’s a day they laid Jesus’ body in a tomb and sealed the hopes He had inspired in a cold grave. But Sunday’s coming. And the people responded, ‘Yes, Easter’s coming Hallelujah!!!’” Indeed Easter has come and Pentecost is on the way! Thanks be to God who promised us that nothing could separate us for Him and His love!!!
|Offered by Rev. Dr. Michael Elmore|