Dead, forsaken Jesus. Eerie silence from heaven to the grave.

Smug Empire. Self-satisfied religious Establishment.

Horrified, hiding, denying, and betraying men break their vows to follow. Trembling, tenacious women stay true through the end.  

In God’s great heart, mercy struggles with judgment.

Creation waits with eager longing: hope against despair and against hope. After all, who hopes for what one already has and knows?

I need Holy Saturday. Like so many, I often feel strung-out between Friday’s crucifying cruelties and whatever life there might be—is?—on the other side (it’s nothing but sure risk and certain uncertainty until we get to our own Sundays. Is that kind of trust not nothing but, from our side, everything?).

Here’s what I doubt, know, forget, remember, know again, doubt again, forget again, remember again, and know again (I trust I will know when I must):

Part of God’s agony in and with Jesus was the bearing, enduring, absorbing, and transmuting judgment. There are only now mercy, grace, and love.

Mercy judges brokenness by mending it.

Grace judges shame by healing it, and love judges fear by overwhelming it.

Life judges death by overcoming it.

In and with Jesus, God felt and forsook God-forsakenness.

Someday, somehow, no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things—our present things—shall have passed away.

For now and forever, no condemnation and no separation.