They call it silent Saturday but this day is fit to burst my ear drums with its noise.
Who doesn’t want to tell me exactly what happened on the cross, or where was God when it happened. Who doesn’t have a fly-on-the wall view of three days behind the stone before it was rolled away. One thousand clamouring voices like a thousand holy relics, each a nail from the execution or a thorn from the crown.
In the evenings Andy sits in the quiet lamp light reading John Stott, The Cross of Christ. He’s a cover to cover kind of a guy. He considers what he reads and tells it back slowly. We have a bookshelf buckling with the worth of words and podcasts from preachers and teachers waiting to be heard, notebooks full of hand written memos to sermons and Bible studies, seminars and classes. We have histories and perspectives and so does everyone else.
On all kinds of social media there is nothing more quotable than the cross. The crucifixion made over many times in words and pictures, histories, testimonies, theologies and apologies and plain cold rants. There are services, meals, traditions, hymns and readings. Some of us are for and some of us against, we are conservative, reformed, ecstatic and politically correct. We think, write and talk in dialogue and monologue, to build up and destroy.
Edward paints a crucifixion picture for my Easter talk at church and I ask him to hold on the blood. We dress the children in costumes and tell our upside down story of God made man, servant made Lord, dead made alive, sinner made saved. We tell our story as if it has never been told, to those who may never have heard.
There are times when we utter a quiet echo of Jesus words, my God my God why have you forsaken me. As if we dared to know that particular despair, as if God had really became like us and suffered in our mess. But it seems he did …
When we feel that hope has breathed its last, the curtain is ripped in two and the cry, ‘It is over’ is heard.
It is over and it is just beginning. We see that those standing near have seen anew with light-filled eyes and those watching from a distance are pulled in closer into the rapidly unfolding story of grace. Those waiting on a scrap of good news are a little closer than they were before. A little closer and then so close they’re going to get their fingers burned.
This is the case for all who come at dawn, those who push their way to the front, the early risers and the insomniacs, these are the first ones to see the stone rolled away.
First day or eighth day: new creation day. A never-seen-before day.
Jesus always God, suddenly more God. He pulls our pasts into his future.
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:28, 37-39 NIV)