Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every day was Sunday, and the Sabbath had no end? Wouldn’t it be nice if we experienced only revival, renewal, refreshing, rejoicing and recovery every day of the week?
Well, welcome to the real world. There are seven days in the real world. And in the real world, it appears that each day the good Lord sends, we are either entangled in some crisis, encountering some disappointment, or encouraging someone else who is dealing with crisis and disappointment.
Even in our service to God, our work is sprinkled with suffering, sorrow and surrender. And it’s cyclical. It happens each, solo, single, solitary day. Dr. James Dobson says in his wonderful book, “When God Doesn’t Make Sense,” that sometimes our work for the Master challenges us to hold onto our faith, but we know in the end that our work pays off. Our Savior informed us as He walked toward Calvary that a consecrated life is laden with both negative and positive days.
Mondays can be marvelous. On the Monday following Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, He cleansed the temple and healed some folk. Tuesdays can be terrific. Jesus taught parables and transformed people on the Tuesday after Palm Sunday. Wednesdays can be wonderful. Jesus witnessed a widow on welfare when she worshiped with her limited worth as He watched the wealthy workers wonder at her wisdom. Thursdays can be threatening. On that first Holy Week, on Thursday afternoon and evening, Jesus sat with friends and foe around a table, and then washed their feet. And then came Friday.
Not all Fridays are the same, but a significant number of them are frightening. Friday in many circles represents incompletion, partial attainment and imperfection. It represents the end of a cycle that is tied to the beginning of another cycle. And yes, even Jesus had Fridays in His life. But none of His Fridays came close to the last Friday before He died.
On that last Friday, He fell on His face crying because of the critical crisis and confusion He would face. On that Friday, He was betrayed by His own disciple, who demonically demonstrated his contempt for his own master. On that Friday, He was abandoned by His friends. On that Friday, He was mocked by His detractors. On that Friday, He was stripped of His personal clothes. On that Friday, He died. On that Friday, He was buried.
But then came Sunday. Sunday neutralized the horrors, hurt and hindrances of Friday, and the pain of crying.
Honesty sets in when you consider the fact of Friday, but hope sets in when you consider the joy of Sunday. It had to feel that bad on Friday, to feel that good the following Sunday. It had to be that bad, to turn out to be that good.
That’s what makes the Resurrection so powerful; it happened early one Sunday morning. Hallelujah!
The Rev. Dr. Walter T. Richardson is the senior pastor of the Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church, 17201 Southwest 103rd Avenue in Perrine. He is also an adjunct professor of religion at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens.