The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (I Cor. 1:18)
If ever there’s a time when the world finds Christianity foolish, this is it. These three days. Starting with Friday, the most terrible of all: someone deliberately choosing to die a horrible death, not for anything they did, but for something others did. The women who didn’t run away, who stood at the foot of the cross for the horrific hours it took Jesus to die. The fact that people still followed him, even as he was dying, when there was a good chance that others could be seized and killed as well.
What kind of religion worships a god who dies? How utterly foolish is that? Catholics wear crucifixes around our necks and place them on our walls. How foolish, to the world, to be so attached to an instrument of torture!
Saint Paul writes that the message of the cross—that Jesus died deliberately and with an open heart so that we might live—is foolishness to those who don’t believe. And there it is: the crux of our faith. The despair of Good Friday can only be felt by Christians—otherwise, Jesus’ death is nothing but an interesting historical footnote.
And then the hush and the misery and the loneliness of Holy Saturday ends and the women who go to Jesus’ tomb find it empty. And in the end, the Resurrection proves that we weren’t fools, after all.