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Good Friday/Holy Saturday: Following Jesus into the Darkness

Posted on March 29th, 2013

We have not done a good job of remembering Good Friday or Holy Saturday in the Western church. We like to quickly jump to Easter. Tonight at New Life Fellowship Church, on Good Friday, we will remember Christ’s crucifixion through a Tenebrae (meaning “darkness” or “shadows”) style service. The service of Tenebrae has been practiced by the church since medieval times. Tenebrae is a prolonged meditation on Christ’s passion, using Scripture, silence, worship, and darkness. As lights are progressively extinguished, we enter into the overwhelming reality of His death.  After the final candle is extinguished, we will sit in total darkness for 5 minutes, reminding us of the terrible horror of Jesus laid in the tomb. Why? The cross is the pattern of our lives. Everything happened to Jesus in some way happens to us. That includes the tomb. On the first Holy Saturday, the 11 disciples were at a Wall (See Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, chapter 6). Their understanding of who God is and how He works was shattered. We too hit Walls. We experience darkness, confusion, lostness, betrayal, and feelings of abandonment. We wonder where God is. None of us likes feeling lost and scared. None of us likes to follow Jesus into an unknown future when we have so little idea of where He is going. Holy Saturday commemorates the day that Jesus was laid in the tomb. The disciples had to wait. We too are invited to enter that space and wait in darkness for resurrection. When we do, we are able to grasp the wonder of resurrection and worship on Easter Sunday, proclaiming: “O MY GOD. JESUS IS ALIVE!” Two Good Friday Tenebrae services will be held tonight – 5 pm and 7 pm. at New Life. Come if live nearby. You are in for an experience. Or watch it later on New Life’s website.

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