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|Easter Too Soon
|Thursday, April 13, 2017|
Easter is in the air, which means there's a spring in our step. Enough spring that many evangelicals are prepared to hop right over Good Friday. Again.
We love to celebrate Christ's victory over sin and death—as we should. But is it possible we shortchange the sufferings of Christ on Good Friday? Wouldn't you agree there is no point to the victory party, if you don't—or won't—embrace the struggle that came before?
Not Good at Doing Somber
It's a peculiar observation of mine that we evangelicals, for the most part, are just not good at doing somber. Or pensive.
Look at the category of songs we call Contemporary Christian Music. Most of all these tunes involve boosting our hands, thwopping our drums and surging up and down whilst holding a guitar or bass. Thoughtful music lacks the bubble gum snap of “Praise and Worship.” We are postiviely uncomfortable with pauses and silence in group prayer.
For the most part, we just don't do somber. Introspection lacks the sizzle needed for digital billboards and PowerPoint transitions.
Of course, much of this is driven by our culture. Chocolate eggs and pastel bunnies are the distilled essence of our secularized celebration of Easter.
Culture Trumping the Church?
We buy Easter candy, not Maundy Thursday bitter herbs.
We buy Easter dresses, not Good Friday sackcloth.
But since when does the culture trump the church?
When Jesus said, “Remember me,” He intended a whole lot more than plastic cups and grape juice and factory-perfect bread chiclets. He meant every staggered step of His cross bearing walk. He meant every swing of the executioner's hammer. He meant every ghastly cry from the cross. And yes, He meant the brilliance of the angel sitting at the entrance of His empty tomb.
I am all for a raucous, rollicking shout of joyful worship this Easter Sunday. But we dare not shrink or trivialize that glory by avoiding the agony of Good Friday.
For Jesus—and His followers—there has never been a crown without a cross.
And that is why we must linger over Good Friday.
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