My relationship to holidays and special occasions has always been a bit fraught. A special day means special planning. Buying gifts. Making food. Doing rituals. Behind all of that lies the prospect of disappointing people I love. Between my low energy, anxiety and OCD/ADD tendencies, holidays feel more like hell than happiness.
But now, there’s a new twist.
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“The problem is, it’s all Good Friday and no Easter Sunday.”
This was a critique I recently heard someone offer on Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, and I readily agreed with it. But I was struck by how applicable the observation was to Easter sermons in general. Pastors go into incredible detail describing the 39 lashes Jesus took on his back, his painful walk to Golgotha, the crown of thorns on his head, the nails in his hands and feet, the hours of breathless agony spent hanging on a roughly hewn cross–and, finally, the spear in his side. The Resurrection ends up almost as a footnote to all the blood and gore.
Nevermind that the Resurrection is what gives power and meaning to Christ’s crucifixion. Without it, Jesus is just another martyr and those 39 stripes heal no one.
However, what I love most about the Crucifixion story has nothing to do with the sufferings of Jesus and gets even less of a mention than the Resurrection.
For me, it’s all about the veil. Continue reading →