Saturday, April 4, 2015


On this Holy Saturday morning at 5:15 AM, I sit watching the moon during the last few hours of night.  At moments, it is entirely covered by clouds, making the silver moon completely hidden.  This morning in particular, there will be a Blood Moon. And having never seen the sight of a red moon, I am watching diligently.

"Sit here and watch with me."  The moon reminds me the moonlight shed over Jesus as he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.

What makes this Saturday Holy?  The three days are Thursday (called Maunday Thursday), Friday (called Good Friday) and Holy Saturday.   They are the days in the Church that are set aside to acknowledge the betrayal, mocking and crucifixion of Jesus.  These three days represent the center of the Christian Church.  It wasn't enough that God came to us in human form as a child, or that he walked this earth as Jesus the man.  It wasn't enough that God sent his Holy Spirit to live within our hearts.  It wasn't enough. When Jesus was hung on a cross to die as a common criminal, it wasn't enough.   

It is the sadness of these three days, of knowing that Jesus was killed in such a way, that brings the darkness. Bringing the perspective of a mother's son, are these words by Gregg Swell, "A Wind Blew Over Calvary."  

A wind blew over Calvary, Cold as a moonless night.
Birdsong ceased o'er Calvary, The sun refused to give light.

For the King of King was hanging there,
On a rough hewn cross he was hanging there,
The Lord of all was hanging, The Lord of all was hanging there,
On a hill called Calvary.

A mother's tears o'er Calvary, heavy as lifeless stone,
The pain she felt o'er Calvary pierced her to the bone. 
For the first born son was hanging there, 
on a rough hewn cross he was hanging there.
Her light and joy was hanging there, on a hill called Calvary.
A wind blew over Calvary.

Many hymns come to mind as I meditate on the events of these three days.  One that speaks so well of a heavy heart on Good Friday is this:

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 
Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 
Oh Oh Oh Oh, sometimes, it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble....
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

But who are 'they' that crucified my Lord?
Christ of St John of the Cross, Salvador Dali
Christ of the Cross by Salvador Dali

It's so easy to get involved with the chants of a crowd.  It's easy to jump up and cheer when we might never have been cheering at all.   When we put ourselves as part of crowd and bring ourselves to the foot of the cross, we then can realize it is us who crucified Christ Jesus.

'Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended, that we to judge thee have in hate pretended? 
By foes derided, by thine own rejected, O most afflicted! 

 Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee? Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee!

'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee; I crucified thee.

Image result for pictures for good friday

It wasn't enough that we are the ones who crucified Jesus.  Yet he asked God to forgive them, to forgive us, to forgive every living soul to the end of time.  Jesus took our place before God.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

What was enough is that God gave us his love in the form of a man Jesus, who gave his life so that we may live. 

As I conclude my reflections on these three Holy days, the light of day is here. Though I continued to watch the silver moon in the sky that I so hoped would be red, the clouds entirely covered the moon. I saw no red moon from my perspective, but the darkness reminded me of a mother's son hung to die, and a God who would give it all just for me, and for you!

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