Christ’s crucifixion was a hell of a thing. For three days, death had its sting. 2000 years later we homogenize the unthinkable brutality of His public humiliation and execution because Good Friday leads up to Easter and we want to get to the good stuff, but for three days, every single person on the earth who believed in Jesus, who walked with Him, who ate, drank wine, talked, and laughed with him, had nothing to believe in.
There is no record of any of the apostles, or disciples, taking any comfort in Christ’s prophecy that He would be raised up again on the third day. They hid themselves in mortal fear that the flesh ripping spectacle of Christ’s torture would soon befall them. Every hope was dashed. If the memory of a miracle tried to float up in their consciousness the searing smell of His spilled blood, the sound of the wounds inflicted on His body, had to make them afraid to close, or open, their eyes.
And it had to be that way. Spirit made flesh had to bare fatality as a flaw to redeem our deepest horror. A dark bottomless pit rendering any connection to anyone, or anything, including ourselves, as futile. To be human is to anticipate the anguish of being terminated, extinguished, snuffed out. The hope of glory has to reach us here, where we face the gravest of consequences.
Greater love hath no man than to lay down His life for His friends. The temptation is to make His laying down of life too tidy, as if it didn’t take nails in His hands and feet to make His mark on our hearts.