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"You can't have a resurrection without a death."

"You can't have a resurrection without a death." 

It's a phrase that many people say leading up to Easter Sunday, and it's true. The week of Holy Week is inherently important for people of faith, if for no other reason than it would be impossible to have Easter without it. 
But that doesn't necessarily make today, Good Friday, any easier. I think the depth of today's events in our Gospel story is part of the reason Jesus tries to soften the ground for his disciples time and time again. 
Three times in the Gospel of Mark Jesus tells his disciples what's to come:

"'The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.' But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him." (Mark 9:31-32)

And yet, even when they know it is coming, even when Jesus spends the previous night sharing a meal with them, giving final instructions to continue in his way of loving service, the disciples are not prevented from the pain and grief of Good Friday. 
Our hindsight shouldn't keep us from feeling this day either. We know the story, of course. We know what is coming on Sunday, but Good Friday and Holy Saturday still offer us an opportunity.
An opportunity to reflect on the work of God, the human reaction to grief and pain, and the way those two things intersect with one another. 
I would encourage you to read the Good Friday story today. Give yourself space to wonder about the way the disciples, the guards, the other people all responded to the events of the day. 
Without Good Friday there wouldn't be an Easter Sunday. So don't skip over today. Embrace it. Lean in. And feel God's presence in the grief of this story. 
Perhaps there's a thing or two to learn about God's presence in our own grief. 
 
Grace and Peace,
Jamie

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