For many people of faith around the world, Easter is kind of a big deal. It serves as a major benchmark of the Christian beliefs: Jesus comes back to life after overcoming death.
This is great news on many levels. There is one major downer though: before the coming back to life part happened, Jesus went through death.
Different Christian denominations have varying levels of emphasis on the death part of the Jesus story. Some traditions place great focus on Jesus’ death, while others barely mention it – briefly glancing over it to quickly get to the “Jesus is alive!” part of the story.
However you may approach it, Good Friday reflects the day Jesus died. And Good Friday is here.
Allowing ourselves to acknowledge the emotions surrounding Jesus’ death can often cause us to tap into our own experiences of grief and loss.
When this comes up, it’s tempting to feel guilty: I’m trying to focus on this significant story of Jesus, and instead I’m making it about me by focusing on my problems.
But I think there’s something meaningful about connecting our own stories to the story of Jesus. In a way, his loss validates our own losses. And before we hurry on up to “the good part” of the story when things get better, there is a truly devastating part of the story. Our ability to connect our own stories to Jesus’ story both allows us to feel connected to our faith, while also validating our own experiences of grief.
With that said, we all process loss in different ways, and it’s important to be aware of your own grief process as you enter Good Friday. If you are not in a space to tap into your own grief at the moment, it’s okay to allow yourself permission to step away from Good Friday reflections, services, and other experiences that may be overwhelming at the moment.
This week’s post is brief. I wanted to make space to acknowledge the need to take space from grief when needed, without totally opening up that can of worms here.
Of course, you may be in a space where you’re ready to open up to your grief, in which case Good Friday may be an incredibly powerful component of your process.
Wherever you’re at, take care today.