I went to Jesus’ funeral last night. He was the best man I had ever known, and now I’d never see Him again.
Good Friday is the one day in the year when I sit quietly next to His lifeless body and weep. I weep because I miss Him. I weep because He suffered. I cry hot tears because He is dead, dead, dead, and now the unfinished business between us can never be put right.
I know how the story ends but I need to feel the loss of my Lord and reflect upon His pain. Pain I should rightfully have borne were justice served. Feeling the loss of Him prepares me to feel the joy of His resurrection. Not only is He not dead, He still likes me and is glad to see me even though I helped to kill Him.
I went to Jesus’ funeral last night and discovered that someone had scheduled seven other funerals at the same time. One funeral for each of the Last Seven Words of Jesus. Services were held for the victims of ISIS and Ebola; Robin Williams; Brittany Maynard; and Eric Garner. There were others I cannot now recall, and that is a shame because all of those mourned last night deserve to be recognized, grieved, and laid properly to rest. The daily news is full of sadness, injustice and horror, and we are called to hear and act.
But I went to Jesus’ funeral last night.
I could not get to Him to say goodbye. One after another, the funeral processions crowded by, forming a continuous throng of mourners through which I was unable to pass. Here and there, I caught a glimpse of Him before He was eclipsed. Finally the crowds began to dwindle, and I began my trembling approach.
The service ended before I made it to Him. The music stopped. It was time to go. The man in front of me began talking about a movie he had seen. There were bright lights and friendly chatter.
I sobbed it out in the car on the way home. My husband was lovely to me.
The sermon had been thoughtfully crafted and intended for good. I knew that. But it had gone terribly awry, and I felt cheated and bereft.
Now that my tears have dried, I wonder: Maybe I got the point after all.