Take Time to Mourn

“Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to the decision and action. He came from the Judean
town of Arimathea and was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.” – Luke 23:50-54

Do not pass Holy Saturday without a second thought.

There was recently another student suicide in our community on the Lakota reservation. While I did not have the student in one of my classes, I had many of her friends as students. As I saw their despair, confusion, and grief I felt a deep and real frustration with God. How could someone, with only 16 years of living, make the determination that they no longer deserved to live, or could not tolerate living any longer. What kind of world is it in which God has us live?

What did Mary and the disciples feel when Jesus was on the cross? What did Joseph of Arimathea feel as he peeled the bloodied and lifeless corpse down from the tree? It could not have been deep feelings of gratitude. They were not sitting around thinking: ‘Golly, I sure feel justified now. I’m so glad Jesus just took care of my sins and such.’

Instead there was a deep and real despair, along with a re-entering into the daily routine. Joseph knew the Sabbath was about to start and he had to get Jesus down and placed in the tomb before it did or else he would be ceremonially unclean. Had he or the disciples known what was going to happen, the Resurrection on the third day would not have been nearly as glorious.

At the end of the day, I cannot provide the consoling words or hope that my students need in the face of deep pain. Lament and complaint to God is a needed and
natural response. To simply say it will all get better is to ignore the reality of sin and pain that we know from experience are the realities we face on a daily basis.

Do not pass Holy Saturday without a second thought.

Take time to mourn. Take time to lament. Give yourself the time and space to sit in discomfort. The disciples took time to be in that space. Christ himself took time to dwell in that space. The pain and sin we face are real. Take time to let that sink in before the coming morn establishes a new reality.

~Ben Gibson

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