Holy Week 2013

Easter Eve

Yesterday they could remember something about "the third day" but by now they can't count; they have an emotional hang-over worse than any of those induced by too much wine at Passover. The streets are quiet. Families are all indoors on the morning after the lamb before; but this is a bereft family, grieving the loss of its teacher and leader.

Not knowing is solidifying into knowing. They can't pray; they can't eat; and Peter still can't speak. The streets are quiet now but when the feast is over, anything might happen. Their loss is mingled with fear and some of them are more preoccupied with their own fate than that of Jesus, and they know it, and feel the guilt of it. How easy it is, in spite of all He said about trusting His Father, to fall back into worrying about today and tomorrow. The human capacity to self-heal through forgetfulness is enormous but its converse is the loss of empathy and the loss of history; we easily adapt our outlook to match our new circumstances.

And here we are, too, deflated by what we have been through; and we would be less than human if we could obliterate the future tense; it makes us what we are; and we know something is going to happen.

But if there is one benefit from this bleak, empty day, it is that it forces us to imagine life without Jesus. This is a kind of spiritual deterrent, quite different from the motivation to love Jesus because we were made to love; this is a brief but frightening experience of the void, of how it might be. And although many of those who do not know the Lord Jesus seem content with their spiritually bland lot, today gives us a glimpse of what it is like to live in a spiritual vacuum. WE suffer for a day but others suffer for a lifetime. It is strange to think of this emptiest of days as a springboard for mission but perhaps, above all other days, we feel the emotional loss of Jesus so much that unable to bear his absence in us, we understand his absence in others; so will we make an Easter resolution to put this right?