In the Tomb
Each year on Good Friday and Holy Saturday Christians remember the tomb. Not the empty tomb of Easter, but the borrowed tomb Jesus needed that Friday and Saturday. Jesus was really and truly dead. This is a central fact of the Christian faith—you can not get to Easter without Good Friday. Jesus was obedient unto death.
Though we are an Easter people (even in Lent) we are also a Good Friday people. We know the cost of the free grace we receive from God. We know also that we too can have our own Gethsemane. For Jesus it came that night as he prayed in anguish for the cup to pass from him. For some it comes in a doctor's office when the biopsy results come back. Or at an AA meeting when you finally realize that you are an alcoholic and will have to die to your current life in order to live. It can come in many ways. But it is there in that moment when push comes to shove that you discover your real theology, what you really think about God.
This is why it is best to nourish your life of faith before you get to the garden, before the night of anguish. For once there in that doctor's office or AA meeting or wherever it comes, you will be better off if you have already been a person of prayer sustained by the scripture. For we know that new life is possible and that even at the grave we make our song Alleluia!
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church
The first worship service of Easter comes tonight at 7 p.m. with the Great Vigil of Easter, traditionally the most important Christian worship service of the year.
A sermon on tomorrow's Gospel reading, The Easter Double Take is found in our online archives.