What You Believe About One Weekend in History

For years I celebrated Easter as if it were a stand-alone holiday, singing “Up from the Grave He Arose” without giving much thought to the horror of the Dying or the silence of the Dead. Providentially, my early efforts to incarnate and to enliven an invisible God in the hearts and minds of four sweet sons found a way into the obtuse heart of their mother as well.

This Lenten season, we are making the traditional observances in some extremely non-traditional ways. Yesterday, my church family posted videos of Palm Sunday celebrations with children (and grandparents!) waving Maine pine boughs and shouting “Hosanna!” With the literal meaning of hosanna being “Oh, save!” I can’t think of a better script for the season of COVID-19!

On this Monday of Holy Week, we affirm that what we believe about one weekend in history, the three days’ journey from Golgotha to the garden tomb, impacts our whole experience of the Christian life. While we sense our emptiness more in a time of pandemic, there is never a time when we do not require lavish grace to have our emptiness filled, our requests denied, and our fatherlessness remedied by the Father.

We are all entering Holy Week with more questions than answers. In A Glorious Dark, A.J. Swoboda describes a God who “stand[s] tall” above human history and invites (rather than scorns) the questioning heart.  After all, of the thirty-one questions Jesus posed in the Gospels, God answered only three.  When God does not break into history to rectify the list of problems set forth in my latest prescriptive prayer, I want to remember the messy way in which that one weekend in history played out for those who were on the scene.  Once again, may the life of Jesus be made manifest, a glorious life emerging from a glorious dark.

Finding Hope,

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A Glorious Dark: Finding Hope In The Tension Between Belief And Experience, simply click on the title or the image within the text, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash



27 thoughts on “What You Believe About One Weekend in History”

  1. Yes, this is how I was raised, too, Michele –> ‘For years I celebrated Easter as if it were a stand-alone holiday’

    And this year, Lent passed me by in a haze. Thank you for recalibrating my soul today …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no idea that “of the thirty-one questions Jesus posed in the Gospels, God answered only three.” We humans do like our questions answered, yet God often chooses not to. And in response to that statement, what’s the first thing that pops into my head? The question, “WHY?” (!!!) But even if God tried to explain His reasons for some events (like a pandemic?!), it probably wouldn’t satisfy. We tend to prefer comfort and ease; God has greater purpose in mind. We’re often short-sighted; God takes the long view. Jesus did promise, however, that one day we’ll understand (John 13:7)–when we reach heaven and become perfect as he is perfect. We can look forward to that!


  3. Thirty-one questions posed by Jesus and only three answers? Michele, what an amazing (and strangely comforting) statistic! Easter is so much more than a single-day holiday to me now too …


    1. It would be interesting to do a deep study on that topic. So often when I don’t hear the “answer” I hoped for, I wonder if I’ve “asked amiss,” but Jesus, of course, never asked amiss, so that leaves me wondering too…


  4. Amazing to see Easter through the lens of our current crisis. I am grateful Jesus enters every one of our messy days with grace and power.


  5. That Friday and the following Sunday depend on one another. If He had only died, no matter how well-intended, it wouldn’t hold the promise of our resurrection. And if he had only performed a miracle as God can do, we wouldn’t know what it means to live a sacrificial like and our sins would not be atoned for. What a glorious plan he had and kept for those of us who follow Him!


    1. What a thoughtful and well-reasoned response, Donna. We’re not fond of the dark side of things, and I think most of us prefer thinking about Easter over Good Friday, but they are linked in their significance to us as believers!


  6. I love thinking of Easter as a whole week as opposed to just a single day! Of course, to the Christian, every day should be Easter! Thank you for these encouraging thoughts, Michele!

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!


  7. I think–I hope, anyway–that this Easter will help us focus on the cross and resurrection and hope. Nothing wrong with new clothes and Easter baskets, but sometimes having things stripped down to basics helps us refocus.


  8. I’ve often wondered what Jesus was actually doing that weekend too. I once heard that He was in hell but I have a hard time comprehending that. I wish scripture actually said something about it


    1. I know–I’ve read the Apostle’s Creed and pondered long on this, and we also are treated to silence about his boyhood days.
      Of course, on the flip side of this, there ‘s plenty of truth we ARE given, and I guess I need to occupy myself more fully with that for the time being. 🙂


  9. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn


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