I’ve been meditating on the Passion of Christ this week and thinking a lot about the endings of stories. There are so many different kinds, and they evoke so many varied emotions. Endings can be happy, sad, satisfying, confusing, or they can leave you wanting more. As a certified bookworm, I’ve breathed many a sigh of regret as I turned the last page in a book, wishing I could rewrite the ending, or that there was a sequel, or that the story just wasn’t over yet.
As we experience the sorrow of Good Friday, we can look forward with hope to Easter Sunday, knowing that this isn’t the end of the story. We know that this story has a happy ending, and not a sad one. It ends in rejoicing, not in sorrow. But the apostles didn’t know that. I wonder what they felt, standing there on Calvary, maybe watching from afar because they were too afraid to come closer, maybe hiding away somewhere and hearing reports about what was going on.
“Is this really how it ends? He was supposed to save us. What are we going to do without Him? What will happen to us now? Will we be killed too? Why did God send us a Savior only to take Him away? How could He let them do this to Him? Why doesn’t He stop this?” they must have thought. In that moment of sorrow and desolation, they thought that God had left them all alone, that he had let them taste salvation and then snatched it away. They didn’t know that it wasn’t the end.
It’s funny how God often works this way. Just when we think we’ve figured out His plan, it turns out that it’s totally different than ours: that it’s crazier, wiser, and infinitely more beautiful than anything we could ever have dreamed up. So when we’re left wondering, “Why, God?” let’s remember that we don’t know the whole story. We don’t know how it ends. Only God does. But looking back on the story of our salvation, we can say with confidence, “God, I trust that you will take this and write a beautiful story.”