One Easter a few years ago, I remember seeing an interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He was asked how – in the appallingly dark days of the struggle against apartheid – he maintained hope. His reply was characteristically profound and joyful. “Is there anything more hopeless than a young man dead on a cross on a Friday? A sight so horrendous that even God the Father turns away and cannot look upon it.
But just when you think darkness has done its worst … VROOOOOOOM!! Easter happens! THAT is why I never lost hope.” As Christians it can be easy to forget that we are Easter people – called to live lives defined by the cross of Christ. I’m sure we’ve all come across people who epitomize the phrase “living for the weekend”. Perhaps we’ve had times ourselves when all we want is to just get through the week and count down the days to Friday. But as Christians we are living for THE weekend, that Friday to Sunday 2000 years ago that changed the course of history. And I say live for the weekend very deliberately because sometimes we can concentrate only on one day.
At those times when everything seems to be going our way it may be easy to focus on the joy of Easter Sunday whereas if we are going through trials or suffering perhaps we can only look as far as the God who suffered too.
But the reality is the two cannot be separated. We cannot have Friday without the Sunday and vice versa. It is a marvelous mystery that the God who made the world should share our suffering and should die to save us sinners but to finish on Friday is only part of the story. Our faith is one that professes not only suffering shared but suffering transformed and death and sin defeated by the triumph of the resurrection.
So let us live for the weekend – defined by the love and victory of the cross. Let us not give up meeting together to forever be reminded of this truth, let us not neglect our prayer and Bible study as we strive to live every day as Easter people. Perhaps there is a verse or some words from a song that we carry with us into each day. For me, though I falter and fall I will remember the following this Easter. “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” [Isaac Watts]