Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark. The Easter account begins in the darkness. The pain and grief of Good Friday linger still as Mary Magdalene approaches the tomb of Jesus. Most of us prefer the joy of Easter to the grief of Good Friday. We prefer the grief to be shaken off, left behind, focusing rather on joy and life, than sadness and death. But sometimes, it’s hard to shake the gloom of Good Friday. Sometimes, Good Friday’s grief lingers, even while we long for the joy of the resurrection.
Most of the time, we stand on the hinge between night and day, between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It is easy to stay in the night—to stay focused on grief and pain. It’s a lot like the shame that we have been thinking about this season—it loves to keep us in a Good Friday state, to keep us feeling bad and unworthy. Good Friday lingers and threatens to entomb us.