“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Rom. 8: 18-25, ESV)
I think it was the Christian writer Barbara Johnson who said we’re Easter people living in a Good Friday world. Some days that seems a very apt description. Between wars, natural disasters, political and social upheavals, and just the daily grind of life it’s easy to feel there’s nothing to be joyful or hopeful about. Certainly Jesus’ disciples, when they saw him hanging on the cross on the original Good Friday, didn’t see any reason for hope. But they didn’t really understand what Jesus had been telling them — that Easter was coming, that he would rise again and give us hope.
Even on this side of Easter it’s hard sometimes to really live out the hope we have. Because, as Paul writes in Romans 8, all creation is waiting with us for Christ’s return and the consumation of God’s plan. In the meantime, we have to deal with troubles and trials in a world that seems to have gone mad.
But we do have hope — we have been redeemed by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and have the promise that God is bringing his plan to fulfillment. And we have the Holy Spirit to help us and intercede for us. And so we can live as Easter people because of what happened on Good Friday. Let’s keep the joy and hope of the resurrection in mind after this Easter season has passed, so we can shine the light of hope in a Good Friday world.