This year Good Friday feels especially heavy.
I am a huge advocate for a good cry; for letting myself feel as fully as I can. I think emotion gives the world color and makes lightness lighter and darkness darker. Good Friday usually get lumped into the named-but-uncelebrated days of Holy Week. I don’t have any upbringing in the traditions of Holy Week and all of the events that churches take part in for this time of year. Even though I’m pretty much a novice in the practices that go with each day, I still have always found that letting myself free in how I feel makes Easter more meaningful.
The first time I watched the Passion of the Christ I was in high school. It was still a pretty new movie at that point, so it was a bit taboo for me to be watching. I was randomly with a friend this year instead of my family as usual. We were at a cabin in the mountains. Despite being in a different context then what was usually normal for me, I knew that I wanted to feel the depth of what the crucifixion was. Growing up in Sunday School, we were handed really cutesy watered down ways to explain what Jesus dying on the cross was like. Easter didn’t have much weight because of that.
I had heard my whole life that “Jesus died for my sins,” but I wanted to feel what that actually meant. I watched the movie, letting myself get attached to the people on the screen. I watched and let the gory scenes get to me. I watched and I let myself weep.
It is so good to weep. I’m not one of the people who feels so much better after they cry. I usually am stuffed up, have a headache, face is puffy beyond belief. I become a hot mess. But weeping brings us into such a thin place and that is such a great place to meet with God.
I haven’t watched the Passion since that year, but I intend to today as I feel like there is much to weep about in this world. With the global pandemic we are living through, there is so much that we can come to Jesus with and to weep with him in.
We have a God who weeps with us and meets us in the depth and height of our emotions. Good Friday can be a beautiful day to lay our sorrows and our fears and our sins at the cross and to feel the death of all of them with the death of our Savior.
Mourning the death of our Savior on this Good Friday adds to the meaning of what Easter means. I hope that the church can do that this year.