For the past few years, I’ve been unwell over the Easter period. Because Cystic Fibrosis is degenerative, every year I experience death that little bit more. This year in particular I’ve found myself often straining for breath, muscles tense, oxygen levels lower than normal, exhausted, everything in me crying out that this is not how life is meant to be. These past weeks and months have been a season of dying, a season of emptying, a season of letting go. And I know there’s more to come.
When I go through difficult patches, sometimes I find it hard not to feel fed up and, quite frankly, a bit cheated. Self-pity parties are all too easy. Suffering is painful and unhealthy inward focus comes naturally. And so I’m sure that it’s no accident that I’m often ill over Easter. Good Friday comes around and Jesus’ suffering is impossible to ignore. It only takes half a second to be reminded that I don’t suffer alone, that my suffering is nothing compared to His, and that He suffered so that one day I won’t have to suffer any more.
On that Friday afternoon, Jesus gave his all.
He was lifted up on a cross so that I could be lifted out of the bog of my sin and become my Father’s daughter.
He cried out ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ so that when I cry the same question, I can receive the answer, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’
He took His last strained breath so that when I take my last breath it won’t be the end of my life but a glorious beginning.
He died in darkness so that I can live in light, both now and forever.
One day this season of dying, of emptying and of letting go will culminate in the death of my body. But because of the events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, I hear the ‘It is finished!’ cry of Jesus echoing through the ages and heralding the end of sin and suffering forever. What a Saviour!