This Holy week, I have been significantly troubled by my church’s decision to not have a Good Friday service. In my mind, I have closely linked this decision to our flexible scheduling of communion services. Though we do take communion every month, it can easily be moved to a week more suitable to our schedule. Without going into greater commentary, I simply think we avoid contemplating the cross.
I found it ironic when we scheduled communion for tomorrow, Resurrection Sunday. While I think it is appropriate to participate in the Lord’s Supper on Resurrection Day, it seems to me that if there was one day in a year we need not contemplate the cross, it would be tomorrow. Tomorrow we celebrate our redemption, our new life in the resurrected Lord.
As I pondered these thoughts, an idea formulated in my mind. Perhaps by not gathering, we (now speaking of broader categories of believers) reenact the crucifixion narrative. As Christ’s disciples and followers we relive the story of his betrayal.
Notice Mark 14:50, “And they all left Him and fled.” They didn’t dare be associated with the Accused. Peter, who so boldly had scolded the Lord for speaking of his death, said, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” Christ’s followers scattered from him.
So last night our churches scatter from the cross. We hang out with friends on the long weekend. We go to a movie, or maybe see the Tigers. Anything to prevent us from being associated with the cross of shame. Perhaps it is part of our story to flee.
But tomorrow, we’re all smiles, ready to confess that Jesus, having been raised, is Lord. Just like the disciples, we will race to the empty tomb (perhaps hinting that we got their first, just to be sure our devotion is noticed, cf. John 20:4). We will clumsily declare our allegiance to the risen Lord; at least now that He’s risen.
What is amazing is that we have been given the right to be called the sons of God. And provided we do not deny Him before men, we will be called His, regardless of our little faith.