(Thursday to Saturday) March 29-31, 2018
When God told us to call him Father, he meant us to understand that he feels about his children the way human fathers do. How did the Father feel, then, when he saw his Son during his agony in the garden, praying "in anguish" until "his sweat became like great drops of blood," and crying out to him, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me…"?
Jesus added, "Yet, not my will but yours be done" (Luke 22:42).
The Father's will was to let Jesus, his uniquely begotten Son, suffer this anguish of mind, and all that followed, in order to include us in his family as sons and daughters by sharing his divine life with us. What kind of love is that?
The Father heard Jesus on the cross cry out, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Psalm 22; Mark 15:34). For our sake, to show he never abandons us, the Father did not respond. What does that say about his love for us?
And Jesus agreed with him! He expressed his human feelings, but as a Person, God the Son, he loved us as much as the Father.
Psalm 22, that Jesus quoted, is actually a hymn of praise and confidence in God's victory. Nothing in Christ's passion is understandable without the resurrection. That is why Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday/Easter Sunday are one single celebration. Separately, none makes sense.
Nor does it makes sense to look at sin and suffering without the eternal oneness with God and each other we hope for. To make us one with himself, God had to make us free; free to sin and cause pain to ourselves and others. But God took flesh in Jesus and freely suffered to swallow up sin and suffering in victory.
Easter reminds us to look at the whole picture.