It was a really bad Friday. In fact, it was the darkest day in history. It was the day when Jesus was crucified. His followers were stunned, confused, and devastated. Their rabbi and friend had just been falsely accused, brutally beaten, and unjustly murdered in plain sight. They feared for their own lives and fought against a flood of doubts coming against them.
“How could this happen?! I thought he was going to establish a new Kingdom in power, but instead he was killed.”
If you and I are honest, some two thousand years later, we aren’t in too different of a scenario. The world we live in still feels dark. Injustice continues to run rampant, and there are moments it seems as if it’s going to win. Suffering abounds. For many, doubt still feels like a black cloud that just won’t lift.
The story wasn’t over on that bad Friday and it’s not over for us today either. Jesus’ dead body was wrapped and laid in the tomb. The grave, watched by guards day and night, seemed to have won. For three days the silence was deafening. But then, when the time had come, the narrative shifted dramatically. The impossible became possible. As the ground began to shake and the stone was rolled away, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary heard the angel of the Lord’s pronouncement, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen.”
The angel’s pronouncement echoes throughout the halls of history. “He is not here, for he has risen.” The implications of this one statement are cosmic in scope. The Savior has risen. Death is defeated. Sin atoned for. Jesus is not only lifted from the tomb, but exalted to the highest place, reigning at the right hand of God the Father.
Suddenly, in this one decisive moment, the worst Friday of them all became Good Friday. The torturous cross now symbolizes both death and life. The Lamb who was slain is also the Lion who is reigning.
This good news has implications for you and me in the days that we are living in. Yes, it can be dark. Yes, injustice does seem like it might prevail. Yes, there is suffering. And, yes, there are many days that are really bad days. But all of this now stands in stark contrast to an empty cross and tomb.
Because of Jesus’ resurrection, in our darkest moments and on our most hopeless days, we now hold to the promise that Sunday is coming.
When tragedy strikes our communities, Sunday is coming.
When the prognosis is not what we hoped for, Sunday is coming.
When doubts and fears linger, Sunday is coming.
When suffering knocks on our door, Sunday is coming.
When we are lonely, Sunday is coming.
Name any ache that we experience in this life… and remember, Sunday is coming.
“Sunday is coming” isn’t just a glib phrase that we say that gives us a manufactured sense of hope around Easter. “Sunday is coming” is a reminder about what’s most true in this life. “Sunday is coming” is the remembrance that just as Jesus rose from the grave on that third day, he will most assuredly return to put the world to rights.
We live in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and we must remember that resurrection is coming. We, like the two Mary’s, will one day hear the voice of our Lord himself declare, “Behold, I am making all things new!”
“Sunday is coming” is a call to persevere, to remain faithful, and to become stubbornly hopeful. It’s a call to remember that the darker the night is, the brighter the light shining in that darkness will be.
So this Easter, we celebrate the original Easter Sunday morning and we remind ourselves that although the world we live in feels awfully dark, Sunday is coming soon enough!