On this holy day, I have often prayed these words from a communion hymn of the fifth century:
“Because for our sake you tasted gall, may the Enemy’s bitterness be killed in us.
Because for our sake you drank sour wine, may what is week in us be strengthened.
Because for our sake you were spat upon, may we be bathed in the dew of immortality.
Because for our sake you were struck with a rod, may receive shelter in the last.
Because for our sake you accepted a crown of thorns, may we that love you be crowned with garlands that never can fade.
Because for our sake you were wrapped in a shroud, may we be clothed in your all-enfolding strength.
Because you were laid in the new grave and the tomb, may we receive renewal of soul and body.
Because you rose, and returned to life, may we be brought to life again.”
The greatest temptation on this day is to try and explain why the crucifixion happened to Jesus. Our invitation in this day of awe and sadness is to let “because” be part of the mystery of God’s love. The grave will be our home too. Because for our sake Jesus died, “life is changed, not ended."