April 2, 2021
By Karen Hunt
Leaving the restaurant, I was in tears as I trudged to the parking lot. I had been looking forward to lunch with someone who I thought was a friend, but she had shown me how she really felt about me. For the past hour, I had alternately been ignored and belittled. As I drove home, I felt anger, grief, and betrayal. I wasn’t thinking of God’s promises or even of God as I drove home. I was cocooned in my emotional outrage.
Even if I forgot God’s promises temporarily, I know that at least I was in good company. Most people do this in some circumstances when things are upsetting or stressful. Even the disciples forgot God’s promises.
The disciples could not have been happier on Palm Sunday. For three years, they had followed Jesus. Now it seemed that finally, His ministry was reaching its peak, with Jesus entering Jerusalem to great acclaim.
Then during the Passover dinner, He told them that one of them would betray him. Confusion turned to shock and fear when later that evening He was arrested, beaten, humiliated, and on the next morning, Good Friday, he was condemned to death. The disciples must have been in agony as they saw him die like a criminal later that day.
Jesus had tried to prepare them before the Passover for what would happen, explaining that He would be turned over to the Gentiles, tortured and mocked before being crucified. But He promised that He would rise on the third day.
“The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.”Luke 18:34 NIV
Now grieving as they saw Him die, they still did not understand what He had said. The disciples could not imagine any hope or future. That is, until a few days later when the Resurrection turned their sorrow into joy and their mystification about Jesus’s words to comprehension.
My upsetting experience in the restaurant was by no means as traumatic as what the disciples experienced, but both they and I couldn’t understand that there would be a good outcome. For me, it took a while to understand that it was a gift to know how this person felt about me so that I could move on. And, after the pain, I felt relief.
This is one of the aspects of Good Friday that I love. That with God, even when events are the darkest, He is always working to bring about a new day. Even if we don’t understand what is going on, we have to remember that He is fulfilling His plan for our good and His glory. When we are in the midst of trouble, it may be hard to remember, but it’s still true.
Photo Credit: Jon Tyson