A lot can happen in three days. The world can change in just three days. I’ve been thinking about the three days we are walking through at the end of this Holy Week – three days traditionally called the Triduum in the church. Here’s a definition: “Triduum”, the period of three days that begins with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil, and closes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday. You may know these three days by more familiar terms: beginning at dusk on Maundy Thursday these 72 hours extend through Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. They are three days that changed the course of history and perhaps the trajectory of your life.
Of course these were merely the culminating days of a longer, much longer, engagement with the world that God had been orchestrating. Beginning with Creation God’s love affair with humankind had been announced. The redemption plan, encapsulated in Jesus, the Word made flesh, was simply the continuation and climax of that love. But oh how it came to a head during the three days!
Our Messiah completely identified with the sin that had separated us from God since creation’s fall. Jesus took the accumulation of the world’s sin upon himself, bore it on the Cross and completed the sacrificial act of atonement. This means, that He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might be freed from sin and its consequence – namely, death. Ironically it was in his own death that this defeat was accomplished – a penalty paid, the blood of redemption spilled, forgiveness accomplished. The completeness of the Cross declares that what Jesus did in his death, and resurrection, is all that is needed. We do not have try and add to it, earn it, or be worthy of it. We never will. All that is required of us is to accept this gift of love and grace by declaring our belief in Jesus as Lord and confessing that our sins are among those for which he paid the ultimate price.
These three days are an annual opportunity to reflect on what God, in love, has done for us through Christ Jesus. We are not prohibited from such reflection any other days of the year, but on these days we particularly remember, retell, re-enact, and respond to the heroic story of Christ crucified, buried and raised from the dead. In fact we are invited to live the story – through reading scripture, attending special services of worship, spending time in prayer, keeping vigil, and coming together on the first day of the week to celebrate.
Let’s consider some other things that can be associated with three days: This weekend, over three days, a new national basketball champion will be crowned in the culmination of the NCAA tournament. March Madness lasts longer than three days, but every team tries to get into the competition of the final three days.
Here are some other things, according to a Google search, you can do in just three days:
- Binge watch a TV series
- Whiten your teeth
- Complete a juice cleanse
- Digest a steak
- Enjoy a long weekend
- Fast from social media
- Get married and go on a honeymoon
- Complete a cross country drive
- Read a book (or two)
- Jump start a new diet
You get the picture. There are many things that can occupy three days of our life. But none more significant toward the fulfillment and outcome of our life than the three days we are currently revisiting with Jesus.
How are you spending these three days?