Last week the ice was coming off of the lake near my house and the whole thing had turned into a large bowl of fog. The air was warm and smelled like spring. Everything was shrouded in mystery. The fog rolled over the ice like waves skimming over the top of the soon-to-be gone frozen layer.
Spring is a time of change and as I walked around the edge of the lake my mind mulled over that word. Change comes, whether we’re ready for it or not. It waits for no one. We either accept it when it comes or we resist it, fight it, or run away from it.
We just celebrated Palm Sunday. Good Friday will be here in a few days, followed closely by Easter. These too are all times of change.
Palm Sunday was the day of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. John 12:12-15 (ESV) reads:
The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!”
The people thought Jesus was coming to fight, to take His rightful place as King, and abolish the rule of the oppressive and hated Romans. Just a few short days later their shouts of praise turned into shouts of anger.
Good Friday was not a good day. It’s the day Jesus died. The same people who had just been praising Jesus turned on Him. They realized that things had changed and He wasn’t going to do what they expected Him to do. He wasn’t going to fight the Romans and they hated Him for it. In John 19:14-19 we read:
Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered Him over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”
Easter Sunday was glorious. Jesus rose from the grave, conquering sin and death and saving us all. Sunday is what makes a Good Friday possible. Luke 24:1-7 tells us:
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how He told you, while He was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.
So often in life we feel as if we are living in the misery of that Friday so many years ago. Things have changed and our hopes have not just been lost, they have been crushed. We’re living in utter darkness and we know that something has to again change or we’ll never survive.
Dear friends, if you’re living in the fog of change or the darkness of Friday, please hold on. Sunday is coming! You don’t have to live in a hopeless world because Jesus, the hope of the world, is alive!
Jesus never promised that we wouldn’t have dark days, but He did promise to never ever forsake us. Cling to Him, draw strength from His pierced hands, and invite Jesus Himself to live inside you. Never give up – your Savior lives!