What’s Good about it?

On this Good Friday, shortly after the anniversary of my own son’s death, I am suddenly aware of Mary, Jesus’ mother. We are in a sisterhood that no one chooses: the loss of a child. I know the agonizing, gut-wrenching pain that results from a child’s death. For months I watched as his treatments failed to stem the relentless advance of his cancer. Like Mary, I stood at the foot of his “cross” watching the unfolding tragedy, and could do nothing to prevent the outcome…..

…and I pondered how God would bring Mary to Jerusalem to witness her son’s murder. But a bit of reflection reminds me that she wasn’t in Jerusalem to witness the crucifixion, but rather to celebrate Passover as it was her custom: “Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover”:Luke 2:41. She was there to celebrate her people’s being set free from slavery in Egypt and their subsequent move to the land that God promised them. She was there to celebrate the hand of death “passing over” the houses of Jews who placed the blood of the lamb on their door lintels.

From a grieving mother’s point of view, I cannot comprehend why God would have made Mary (me, Geri, Faith, Tansi…countless other mothers) witness our children’s death, so I’ll turn it around and look at it from God’s view. She was there to worship God for the feast of Passover. She was there because she believed in his promises. God brought her there not for Friday…. but because Sunday was coming. Sunday, the day of resurrection, of unbounding joy that the stone was rolled away, when, because Jesus placed his blood on OUR “lintels” he rose and overcame the hand of death. And because of that, Mary (and I and Geri and Faith and Tansi….and countless other mothers) live in the knowledge that we will again take our children into our arms.

What’s “good” about Good Friday? Sunday is coming !