"Time Between Times." Good Friday marks the death of Jesus. Easter marks his resurrection. Between the two is a time between times, neither one nor the other. It is a time of absence, of loss, of longing. As much as we, in this time, may feel that loss, we have the advantage of knowing what happens next. As the Carmen song puts it, "Sunday's on the way!"
We've just come from a moving Good Friday service. At the start of the service, the communion table had been set with a number of goblets, almost looking like a dinner party had just ended. There were seven tall candlesticks lit on the table, and as we progressed through the story of Christ's betrayal, trial, denial and death the candles were extinguished one by one. At the end of the service the last candle was carried out of the sanctuary, followed by a silent congregation, symbolizing that the light that had come into the world at Christmas had gone back out of the world in death on Good Friday.
With that conclusion, I feel some small bit of the ache of loss that the disciples must have felt, yet I know that their sense of loss was unfathomable. They had the air knocked out of them, felt punched in the gut. Their rabbi, their leader, their friend, their very personal Lord had been taken from them, put through a sham trial and sentenced (without appeal) to death before sunset. We know the outcome, they hadn't a clue. We see the empty tomb, they saw (the few brave enough to stick around) a lifeless body. It truly was a time between times, but they didn't yet know it, couldn't yet know it. Thanks to the Lord that we have the benefit of history, for we know that the time between times comes to an end.
As we pause and reflect on the sacrifice our Lord made that He might be our Savior, rejoice, for we know what happens next! Sunday's on the way!