There are times when you find yourself at the bloody and painful part of the gospel story. Darkness has covered the earth. Everything has been shaken. Your Savior has breathed His last. You don’t realize the temple veil has been torn in two. It starts to rain. You don’t understand the prophecies or the promises. You have no recollection that He told you He would rebuild the temple in just 3 days, and even if you did, 3 days is too long to wait.
We are not people who want to sit between Friday and Sunday. We do everything in our power to run, numb, or subdue. And yet, there were a few who did not. A few who had the courage, the compassion and the tenderness to press in.
In The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, we read that Lucy and Susan followed Aslan to the Stone Table. At one point during their walk, it says that Aslan was so far bent over from grief that his nose rubbed the ground. He begged Lucy and Susan to bury their hands in his mane to comfort him. When he arrived at the Stone Table, he told them to leave, but they refused. After he died there, Lucy and Susan stayed to tend to his body. It was there that they saw him roar back to life. And it was then that he invited them to ride on his back as he went back to seek his revenge of the White Witch.
On that glorious resurrection Sunday, Mary ran to the tomb. She had no idea that it would be empty. She couldn’t have possibly known what the prophecies meant at the time. Perhaps Mary simply wanted to lay next to his dead body because it was better than being holed up in fear with the disciples. And Mary was the first to see the resurrected Lord. It says that she was weeping at the tomb when Jesus appeared and when He called her by name, her eyes were opened and she held onto Him and wouldn’t let Him go. Mary was honored because she pressed into her grief. She didn’t stand in her pain and make accusations. She didn’t stop believing in His goodness. She embraced her pain and was given the gift of seeing the dead raised to life.
When I was in 4th grade, I read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe for the first time. I had no idea it was a story about the gospel of Jesus. When Aslan died, I threw the book down and could not stop sobbing. I ran into my mom’s room and buried myself into her. I said, “I can’t read this book anymore. I can’t finish it if Aslan isn’t alive.” My mom looked at me with this twinkle in her eye and said, “Emily, oh, Emily. You have to keep reading. Please, keep reading.”
It’s been His answer for everything in this season.
“Can this be true?”
“Are you really in this?”
“I can’t bear where this story is going.”
For those of us who are in the part of the gospel between Friday and Sunday, I want to encourage you to keep reading. Take a moment to sit in the grief of the death of something or someone you love, but then keep reading. Don’t withdraw or shrink back in fear. Feel the warmth of His mane and trust that you actually bring comfort to Him when you weep. Let the grief take you further in. Because the deeper magic from before the dawn of time is just now starting to stir.
Can you feel it?
Aslan is on the move.