By Father Casey

There is not one single meaning of the cross, but many. Christ was not accomplishing only one thing in his death, but a multitude. Defeating violence with nonviolence. Shaming the principalities and powers. Rebuking mob violence. Standing in solidarity with all suffering. Vanquishing death with death. But the full power of what he was doing on Good Friday only becomes evident on Easter Day. It is the light shining from the empty tomb that illuminates the whole way of the cross, so that we can understand what Jesus was doing for the sake of all. Put another way, you can’t understand Easter without Good Friday, and you can’t understand Good Friday without Easter.

In the next three days, we will hear again this dramatic story of how, to quote the ancient Orthodox Easter hymn, our Savior trampled down death by death, and bestowed life upon those in the tomb. How Christ took his teachings about love and lived them all the way to the very depths of hell, so that he could then carry all of us to the heights of heaven. Tonight we’ll remember his new commandment to love one another as he loves, and how he got down on the floor with a towel and pitcher to show us how to begin. Tomorrow we’ll remember the full measure of Christ’s love, and the way love, not nails, held him to the cross. Then on Saturday night and Sunday morning we’ll celebrate how the power of love propelled Christ all the way through death to the other side. Together, the Paschal Triduum reveals to us the means of grace, so we can hold onto the hope of glory. 

For those of us who believe, these three days are everything. All that Jesus taught, it all condenses down to the singularity of these three days. So come, friends, and hear it all again. Hear how the Lord of Life loved you to the end, and how the end was really only the beginning.

Fr. Casey+

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