I’m not necessarily a paranoid person, but I do pay attention to things as they go on. An afternoon of premature darkness followed by an earthquake and the veil at the giant religious center ripping from top to bottom would probably be enough to send me running into the desert outside of Jerusalem, ripping my clothes and screaming, “We’re all gonna DIE!” I’m probably a little more dramatic than most people in that situation would have been.
Good Friday brings tidings of relief and comfort to those of us living on this side of Christ’s resurrection, because we understand the substitutionary atonement and the events that led up to it. For everyone who was there, they had a horrible weekend of doubt, remorse and mourning. Christ’s followers experienced what could have been the end of their movement, they saw weakness in their Leader as He was crushed and if they put all their eggs in that basket, they probably felt like they’d made a mistake. The only people who had any assurance on Good Friday were those who beat Him, nailed Him to the cross and opposed everything He was.
What they didn’t know, is that Jesus is a ninja.
I don’t imagine the trip to hell being a pleasant one, especially when he showed up and demanded the keys to death and hell from the one who’d held them for such a long time. He had taken names long before then and was now officially kicking… butt. Other than the spiritual powers that go largely unseen, nobody else was aware of what was going on. That’s how ninjas work. They get the job done without anyone knowing what’s happening. Their efforts go unseen until the right moment, which makes it so much more fun and dramatic.
Saturday passed and Sunday came along and early on, it still seemed as if the story was over and evil had won. People back then didn’t have decades of awful movies where they were led to believe that someone is dead but they come back at the end- they didn’t anticipate Sunday’s resurrection.
We live in the new life that Christ offers. We know how the story ends. We don’t doubt when good Friday rolls around, but instead, awkward Jesus-people run around yelling, “He is risen!” prematurely. At this point in the narrative, Jesus was doing things unseen and working toward the positive end that we all celebrate. For the latter portion of Good Friday and whatever you call the following Saturday, Jesus was a ninja. And don’t you forget it.