On Good Friday, we traditionally reflect on the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins. It is important to do this, but it is not the end of the story, despite what we may think. Death is usually seen as the end (and not a happy ending.) It speaks to us of tragedy, pain, loss, separation. I can imagine those who gathered at the crucifixion hoped for a different ending and went home that day saddened beyond words, and quite possibly confused and bewildered. They had hoped for a different ending.
That ‘different ending’ would indeed come, but not before the bitterness of death had had its moment. So it is for us. Our reading today (Mark 15:42-43, Mark 16:1-8) is not a traditional Good Friday reading, for it looks beyond that day. It’s a reminder that Christians are people who must learn to ‘look beyond.’ We must learn to look beyond sorrow, look beyond pain, look beyond suffering, persecution, doubt and despair to the God of hope, to the God of resurrection.
Even on Resurrection Day and beyond, there was fear and doubt, as the Gospel accounts make plain. We don’t easily or automatically adjust to hope and glory! But we can be sure, even as we stand at the cross on Good Friday, that this is not the end of the story and therefore there is hope.