(By Christina Gagnon)
Friday was the day of suffering, Sunday, the day of rejoicing.
Friday was the day of beginnings, Sunday, the day of conclusions.
Friday was the day of trauma and bewilderment and questions. Sunday was the day of healing and comfort and answers.
And in between these two days stretched a period of twenty-four hours that was called Saturday.
Their beloved Teacher and Friend had been captured, tried in a bogus trial, tortured, then, early Friday morning, sentenced to a criminal’s death. Now, they watch Him force-marched up the side of Skull Mountain, He hardly has enough strength to walk, never mind to carry the heavy beam flung over His torn and bleeding back. He struggles and a man is wrenched from the crowd and compelled to carry the beam in His place. The beam, dripping with Jesus’ blood, is heaved callously upon Simon’s back to expedite the march of the Master up the hill to His place of execution.
Hearts pounding, they desperately hope that He will do something, anything, to end this because this is not supposed to happen. This is not fair. He is the Son of God, Messiah, the long-promised, long-awaited Deliverer…isn’t He? He was supposed to come as king. He was supposed to deliver them from their enemies. He was supposed to end their suffering. He was supposed to bring the Kingdom of God. Wasn’t He? All those promises, all those miracles, all those wonderful words, all the hope He brought, what was the point? This was a man like no other. He saw people. He looked right into one’s heart and, knowing everything about that person, He loved them. He accepted them. He brought words of love, and promises of hope, and such great joy. He brought down the high and raised up the low. He filled the poor with good things and sent the rich away empty. This was not supposed to happen!