It’s common to hear people say that, “everything happens for a reason.” They usually say it after something dreadful has occurred and they’re hoping that something good will ultimately come of it. But if everything happens for a reason, it means God is preordaining a lot of unpleasantness. And I just don’t believe it. I don’t believe God ever wants someone to suffer. I don’t believe God wants children in cancer wards, or for people to starve to death, or for people to be victimized by violence. To be human is to have these things happen, but not because God decided to make someone feel pain. Everything may not happen for a reason, but we can learn from everything that happens.
Today we commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus. He challenged the Temple collaborators and he challenged Imperial Rome. Though non-violent, he was branded an insurrectionist by the authorities and killed. Before he died he instructed us in the way and he showed us how to be disciples. He taught us that the Kingdom of God is here and now. He exhorted us to transform our world today. But today he is dead. There is no empty tomb. There is no resurrection. Pause for a moment and consider what you’ve learned to this point. What have you learned the day Jesus died?