Even if you don’t believe the historical and spiritual narrative, Good Friday is a day of solemn remembrance for everyone. It gives us pause to think about someone so thoroughly committed in his desire to save others, he laid down his own life. And to think about his father who knew this was going to happen, who could have stopped it at any moment, but allowed his son to do the right thing, is powerful stuff even if it was only an allegory. But it is more, much more.
You may recall that on Friday of Jesus’ death, a cloud hung in the sky. “At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). Mark 15:33-34
A dark cloud likely symbolized God’s message that something has gone terribly awry. Recall he used a dark cloud to get the Egyptians attention to tell them to let his people go. I believe the cloud also gives us insight into God’s emotions. He was expressing his sadness over his son’s death.
God showed more than sadness when Jesus died. He also tore the large curtain in the Temple. God rent the veil to show us there was no need for the separation. Jesus broke that barrier down by sacrificing himself on the cross. But I also ask myself why God chose to use an aggressive, destructive act to make his intentions known.
We know that God has emotions such as anger and sadness because they are recorded elsewhere. We also know that we are made in his image and that he gave us emotions. Because of sin, however when we succumb to our feelings, we are usually wrong. His actions, however were not because he was angry, they were because he is just—he is God. One of my sayings is “When I’m angry, I’m wrong” but it too is not an accurate statement. What I really mean is being angry is not wrong by itself, but too often what I do with my anger is wrong.
Last week you got some insight into my sadness and anger. While it is something I carry with me, it does not define me. It is something I chose to focus on, it is something I chose to war against. But to deny it turns me into a passive-aggressive sugary sweet person whose feet don’t touch the ground. To focus on it, buries my feet in muck. Balance, patience, and grace are what I seek.
God could have chosen a different way to express that we can now come to him directly, but he chose an aggressive method. Even though he knew what the Jews and Romans were going to do, I believe because of his actions, the veil and the cloud, he was both saddened and angry at his people. I know that God’s son died on the cross, and because of it, God knows anger, grief, and loss. He knows how to deal with these emotions and He knows me. God is in my club.
Friday is upon us, people, but Sunday is coming. I hope you find a way and a time to remember the sacrifice and celebrate the victory.
Thank you for reading. You will not want to miss next week when I will make a SENSATIONAL ANNOUNCEMENT!
Andy is a Clinical Psychologist who lost his son in a tragic motorcycle accident and now authors articles on bereavement. The quiz is available! Go to http://andymdavidson.com/Home/Pgd to find out if you may have Prolonged Grief Disorder. Look forward to his upcoming posts, and books. Follow him at his website, AndyMDavidson.com and Facebook.com/ThroughLifeandLoss to find out more about prolonged grief.