Day 2

The Death and Resurrection of Christ

from the Mourning and Dancing reading plan


Matthew 27:32-50, Galatians 2:19-20, Luke 24:36-49, Colossians 1:15-20

BY Rebecca Faires

When I was nine, I had a theory that it always rained on Good Friday. And in my limited experience north of the Mason-Dixon line, it did rain on most Fridays before Easter. This made me believe that the earth was grieving, groaning, and remembering the world-altering death of Christ on that day. Looking up from my coloring book there at the dining room table to the cold, spring rain on our grass, I felt what I still feel today: sadness.

A feeling of melancholy, sentimental or otherwise, over the death of Christ is certainly not an emotion unique to little girls in the Midwest. Christ’s misery was deeply painful to those who were with Him on that day, and is still real to us today. In his “Homily of the Passion,” second-century bishop Melito of Sardis wondered:

What new mystery is this?
The judge is judged and remains silent;
The invisible one is seen and does not hide himself;
The incomprehensible one is comprehended and does not resist;
The unmeasurable one is measured and does not struggle;
The one beyond suffering suffers and does not avenge himself;
The immortal one dies and does not refuse death.
What new mystery is this?

We can join the bishop in his wonder at this deep and painful mystery. And it is right that we should mourn. It is right that we want to turn away from the thought of Christ crucified. It is truly painful, and it’s the pain of the world turned upside down. Immortality gasping for breath means something has gone terribly wrong.

The wrong is written on our own foreheads. Every Ash Wednesday, we remember that we are the ones who are dust and ashes, that the sin that turned the world upside down is our sin. It is my sin—my daily run-of-the-mill gossip and petty jealousy. In spite of my horror and grief when I remember Christ’s suffering, I also rise up in joyous wonder that He has taken my place.

There is a tension here. We mourn at the pain of Christ’s suffering, but we dance—and I do mean dance—because we are restored by His sacrifice. My grief can turn to celebration because, like Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). What a glorious realization of our freedom!

It doesn’t matter whether or not I think it should rain on Good Friday as some symbol of cosmic mourning. What matters is that on a certain day, many years ago, the sky turned black (Matthew 27:45), the world was turned upside down, and the Son of God gave Himself for us. And in spite of our sadness, we will forever rejoice.

Post Comments (195)

195 thoughts on "The Death and Resurrection of Christ"

  1. Haven Bruner says:

    I guess I hit the word limit. Lol. The last sentence was suppose to say:

  2. Haven Bruner says:

    The foremost example of how to morn and dance! I always looked at Good Friday with shame. “I did this to Jesus” That He “had” to take my place. I never really thought Jesus had a choice in taking my place and dying for my sins. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s and heard a sermon that forever changed my thought process about Easter. Jesus had the choice! He didn’t have to do endure the torture of crucifixion, but he did. He chose the cross to save us. So we could be with him…. Forever!! I’ve since looked at Easter with this mix of mourning and celebrating. I’m still sad on Good Friday. I’m sad that this world, and to be honest with myself, that I am so broken. That I will choose a sinful path/ nature. However, I know the one in whom I trust. I know that when I fall short (which is an embarrassing amount of time) He will be there to forgive me, comfort me, and set me back the right path. AND!!! All of this is because of the sacrifice that Jesus CHOSE to make on the cross!!

  3. Haven Bruner says:

    The foremost example of how to morn and dance! I always looked at Good Friday with shame. “I did this to Jesus” That He “had” to take my place. I never really thought Jesus had a choice in taking my place and dying for my sins. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s and heard a sermon that forever changed my thought process about Easter. Jesus had the choice! He didn’t have to do endure the torture of crucifixion, but he did. He chose the cross to save us. So we could be with him…. Forever!! I’ve since looked at Easter with this mix of mourning and celebrating. I’m still sad on Good Friday. I’m sad that this world, and to be honest with myself, that I am so broken. That I will choose a sinful path/ nature. However, I know the one in whom I trust. I know that when I fall short (which is an embarrassing amount of time) He will be there to forgive me, comfort me, and set me back the right path. AMD

  4. Emma Lytle says:

    “restored by his sacrifice” !!!!

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