At 21 years old, this is the first Easter that I’ve truly understood all the hoopla, which could be really sad if you look at it from the vantage point of all the years I’ve missed out on. Or it could be insanely beautiful.
Jesus, in and of himself, is a wonderfully mysterious paradox: Man, yet God. Human, yet sinless. Born, yet not conceived. Through Him Mary was virgin, yet mother, and today reminds us that He was dead, now alive.
On Friday, for the first time, I questioned the purpose behind “Good” Friday. How can something so gruesome, so excruciating, so unfair be so good? I wondered. Of all the words in the world, ‘good’ is what we chose? I knew that with His death came oceans full of good. But was His death, our murder of the Son of God, really a day to be deemed ‘good’ at all?
It made me slightly uneasy, even mildly worried. Had we been calling this day something inappropriate for the last 2,000 years? As if killing Him wasn’t enough, had we been disrespecting His sacrifice for centuries by pronouncing it ‘good’ to all of humanity?
As a plank wore our Savior and our Savior wore thorns, the very thorns that should have pierced my head for my own transgressions, none of it seemed good. As blood dripped from His wounds that I should have endured and nothing could quench His thirst, none of it seemed good. As Mary wept for her innocent son and John grieved for his perfect friend, all of it seemed bad.
But then Jesus uttered ‘It is finished,’ and it was.
This, too, may seem paradoxical since the story doesn’t actually end there.
Jesus had finished many things in that moment. His final three words on the cross certainly weren’t a lie. Sin and its otherwise necessary sacrifices were finished. His sufferings had ceased. Our striving could end.
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
It was on the third day that He triumphed death. A man who was dead came to life forevermore.
And I have never been more in love with, more satisfied by, more in awe of a mystery in all of my life.