It may seem out of place with the commercial season that was just kicked off, but this holiday in honor of the economy (Black Friday) puts me in mind of another Friday, which we call Good, but which was indeed Black to those who went through it. To the men and women in the wake of Jesus’ brutal death on a cross, it was as if the world had slammed the door shut in the face of their hopes for a Messiah–on hopes of a kingdom of joy and the fulfillment of the prophesies throughout the centuries. Now they were in the pitch black, without any knowledge of what came next.
They could not see what we (we who know the story and who can look back, centuries later) see. They could not see that the door which had seemed to so cruelly shut out their hope was fringed in light–a light that would burst forth as gloriously and quietly as the dawn on the third day, when Jesus rose from the dead. They could not know that in this light they would not see a man’s mangled form, lately awoken from a coma, struggling with the weakness of such an ordeal, but that they would see the strong, risen body of a Savior. A Savior whose arrival in weakness we will soon celebrate, but whose triumph over death is the true cause of that celebration–and deep, reverent thankfulness.