In some churches, on Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Good Friday) the church is stripped of all flowers, statues and decorations. Any that can’t be moved are covered up with plain cloth, and the church is left empty and bare. During the Good Friday services, the solemn room reflects the sadness and despair that Jesus’ followers must have felt when He was crucified, and helps people in the church to understand the seriousness of Jesus’ sacrifice. But when Easter Sunday comes, a transformation has happened – all the decorations have been returned, and the church is filled with flowers and colour, celebrating Jesus’ resurrection and victory over death. It’s a powerful visual reminder of how God can change a bleak situation into one that’s full of celebration. We might think it’s strange to call Good Friday ‘good’ – it seems so far from that – but as soon as we experience the Easter Sunday joy of Jesus’ resurrection, we see how God can bring good out of even the worst times. If you’re struggling and waiting to see the ‘good’ in your situation at the moment, focus on these words: ‘He was supreme in the beginning and – leading the resurrection parade – he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe – people and things, animals and atoms – get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross’ (Colossians 1:18-20 MSG).
If you can, visit a church or join an online service today. As you’re there, ask God to fill you with confidence that He’ll bring good out of every bleak situation you’ll face.
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