by Ken Rolheiser
Covid after Good Friday 2020

One thing I ask from the LORD,
  this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
  all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD (PSALM 27:4)

King David asks this so that in the day of trouble the Lord will keep him safe and shelter him. We can live our lives “in the land of the living” (27:13). If we let God lead our lives, we can enjoy life even on our worst days.

As a teacher who retired after thirty-five years, I enjoyed the slogan TGIF or Thank Goodness It’s Friday. I remember enjoying a meal at the TGIF Restaurant in Niagara Falls, Canada. The ambiance was relaxing and special.

TGIGF - Thank Goodness It’s Good Friday created something more special. The mystery of the Passion of Christ continues to unravel, the more we experience it.

Why did Christ have to suffer as described in Isaiah 52:14: "His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness”? COVID-19 gives us a hint.

This world seems to have come undone, and it is not the first time, as we know. We can choose to bear our crosses patiently, but it is so much easier if we know Christ is with us.

On Good Friday and during the season of Lent we pondered the significance of the Cross of Christ. Good Friday is gone and Covid continues. Hopefully, we started to realize that carrying the cross of Covid is a way to enter into the suffering of Christ.

Jesus suffered and died so that he could enter into our suffering and our death. In fact, Jesus died a physical death. Then from the grave he raised his physical body to join his Spirit and made possible our eventual Resurrection.

Why was all this necessary? So that in his love he could invite us to accept him as our Lord and Saviour. Will we let ourselves be so loved? Will we accept a sliver of the cross of suffering and pain in the work of redemption?

Our world was undone by the rebellion of human nature against God. We blame Adam and Eve, but we find many and original ways to sin. It is to redeem us and our nature that the sacrifice of Jesus continues.

Original sin closed the gates of heaven to us. All of nature had to be redeemed, and God permitted the incarnation and redemption plan of salvation to unfold. Jesus’ suffering on the cross shows us the evil nature of sin, so deserving of the wrath of God.

The reality of Satan and the cruelty of man was in evidence at Calvary. Here the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 became the Redeemer of mankind. Jesus saved us from all the punishment our sins deserve. Will we let ourselves be so loved?

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6). How can we not love Him, serve Him, obey Him, and worship Him now and forever, as we gaze upon the face of Him Who loved us so?

Until He comes for us, should we not endeavour to dwell in the house of the Lord and walk in the land of the living?
(559 words)