The Difference Between Easter and Good Friday
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
“And it’s because of this Good News, this sure hope that we can stand firm in spite of whatever the wilderness may throw at us… We have resurrection hope because we have a resurrected Savior. We are Easter people.”
I reread that Week 7 passage from my 2019 Lent Study several times, not wanting to miss what God was telling me. I was stuck on that final sentence and those ending words: Easter people. A haunting thought popped in my mind. "Do I live my day to day life as an Easter person or a Good Friday person?"
While I should be living my life as a witness to the beautiful hope I have as a follower of Christ, full of joy, love, and peace, more often than not my mindset shows the opposite. I’m anxious, fearful, and tend to doubt the goodness of the Lord and His plans for my future. I should be an Easter person, but my actions and thoughts show otherwise. I’m living as a Good Friday person.
Let’s take a step back for a second and dig into what I mean when I say a Good Friday person. In the Gospel (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19), we read and learn about a dark and somber day, a day we now refer to as Good Friday, when Jesus was mocked, tortured and crucified. Although He had foretold His death many times, following his death on the cross the followers of Christ felt lost, full of pain, sorrow, and confusion. Can you blame them? I’m sure they wondered, “what’s next?” as they watched the man they had committed their lives to die a painful, humiliating death. They didn’t yet know about Easter, the resurrection day of our Lord and Savior. They were living as Good Friday people.
However, you and I do not have to struggle with the same issues they struggled with in those few days of confusion. We don’t have to wonder about the true identity of Jesus as the Son of God. We don’t have to stress about where we’re going to spend eternity. We don’t even have to question whether or not God loves us and is working all things together for our good. Because we’re on this side of the story, we know Christ sprung forth from the grave and defeated death and our sins once and for all. We are Easter people!
When our bodies break down. When our loved ones hurt. When the unthinkable happens. When our worlds get rocked by sin, shame or destruction. When we feel so consumed with disappointment in our realities that we can’t even imagine our future. No matter the trials and tribulations we face, because Jesus overcame the world and its brokenness, WE GET TO BE EASTER PEOPLE!
With you in the thick of it,
Challenge: As we venture further into Holy Week and closer to the resurrection day that is Easter, I’m challenging you to make the decision with me to start living like the Easter people we are. In spite of whatever the wilderness may throw at you, stand firm in the living hope you received when you accepted Jesus as your Savior and let your life reflect the gifts you gained because of the cross.