Sequestered Good Friday

Young woman looking through the crack of a locked wooden shed.

In the apex of his own pain and grief, in the last few moments before he dies, Jesus looks down at his mother, Mary, and John, his disciple.

He sees their bodies crumpling under the weight of grief, sees their agony as they each lose what is most precious to them. In a heartbeat, they will become unmoored, adrift without him.

“It is not good for man to be alone” echoes from the garden… the first garden.

And so, he gives them to each other. “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (Jn. 19:26-27 NIV)

In their confusion and disorientation, he gives them to each other.

In their grief, he gives them to each other.

In their supreme aloneness, he gives them to each other.

And so, on this particular Good Friday, as we stand at the foot of the cross, straining to take in the raw pain and beauty of his sacrifice for us, he is still looking down at us. He has never taken his eyes off of us.

He sees the isolation and staggering grief of our world and points us toward each other.

We may not be of the same blood, with no official family ties or responsibilities. But like Mary and John, the grief threatens to break us. And so he points us toward each other.

As we can all feel, we were not made for this keening loneliness.

“Man should not be alone.” We should not be alone.

And so, my prayer for each of us on this sequestered Good Friday is that we hear his call to love each other well, reaching out in whatever way we can to take each other in, to recognize that we are all, in fact, family.