Campolo’s sermon, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming,” captures the essence
of so much of life. Life is full of Fridays. Fridays when friends die, when jobs
are lost, when parents divorce, when businesses fail, when romances fizzle, when
cancer strikes. It was about to be Friday for the disciples; Jesus was headed
inexorably to Jerusalem for a final time.
it didn’t look like it. Just days before, the crowds were crying, “Hosanna,
blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” They cheered as He cleared
the temple courts. It was clearly Sunday – a day to celebrate. But it wasn’t
to last. Friday was coming.
an effort to discredit his popularity, the various enemies of Jesus lined up to
ensnare the otherwise flawless teacher. The chief priests and teachers of the
law questioned him about authority. The spies questioned him about taxes. The
Sadducees challenged His ability to interpret the scripture.
Sadducees severely underestimated their foe. Their cleverly devised tale of a
barren wife and seven deceased husbands was supposed to show the illogic of resurrection
talk. Yet Jesus demonstrated an important lesson. If we’re not careful, we too
may miss the point. Fridays have a way of causing that to happen.
the truth surpasses merely knowing the words.
Sadducees limited what they knew about God to their own understanding of the Torah.
There was no room for more information or alternative explanations. It’s a mistake
we all make. I was converted in a congregation that “had the truth”.
In fact, if other people read the Bible with open eyes, they would “see the
truth as we do.” It turned out they should have said, “if others read
the Bible the way we do, they would see truth the way we see it.”
truth of the matter is, there is more to life than this life.
explained all of eternity by what they saw today. It’s a mistake we all make.
When Friday arrives it so clouds tomorrow that today is all there is. We view
suffering that way – something to be “solved, fixed, avoided, masked.”
It couldn’t possibly be beneficial, preparatory, temporary. We view loss that
way – something to blame for, be embittered over, angry about. You name your
Friday, there’s a human way to look at it.
says otherwise. He says, there is another life, where the children of God are
immortal. There is another life, where the presence of God rearranges all of life’s
circumstances. I am learning so much from Bill and Sally (names changed). They
are both widowed by cancer. They’ve been married just a few years and Bill has
recently learned he has terminal cancer. Their faith is so vibrant. They make
every day count; they fervently love Jesus and His church; they share their grief
openly, yet Christianly with others. They are in the midst of Friday, but for
them, Sunday is clearly around the corner.
truth of the matter is, God is the God of the living.
back to the Torah, the only scripture of the Sadducees, Jesus recalls the scene
at the burning bush. There, God identified Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob. Not the God of dead men, but of the living. In fact, God is the God
of all the living. The disciples didn’t understand it anymore than we might have.
But it was a word of hope for the coming Friday. They would be lost in the grief
and confusion of a dark night. Jesus would die. And it would appear that he was
God is not the God of the dead – He is the God of all living, including the
to-be-resurrected Jesus. Once the disciples arrived at Sunday, it all made sense.
Jesus was among the living. And that set the stage for hope . . . no matter what
any Friday brought, there would be a Sunday.
time” draws to an end. In the church year it is both conclusion and beginning.
While we near the end, we anticipate the beginning; Advent is coming. Life is
like that. Fridays come and go, and ultimately we face a final Friday. But, just
as we spend our lives with Sundays giving life and meaning to Fridays; we live
in the hope of a grand, final Sunday overcoming all vestiges of a life of Fridays.
brief provided by: Chuck Sackett, Professor of Preaching, Lincoln
Christian Seminary, Lincoln, IL