top of page
  • stannussbaum

Lament of the Sun

A freedom story for Good Friday

Partial solar eclipse Photo by Dennis Yu on Unsplash

I was there in the early days and I saw it all. The earth was so beautiful, so perfect, created by the same God who created me. Those first earth-dwellers were so honored, living in a garden spot fit for a king and queen, getting daily visits from God himself. I never expected to shed a single tear about Earth, but soon I was in full-blown lament.


Why? Because like a wildflower that lasts only a day, the honor of the human race wilted and dropped. Adam and Eve foolishly ate from the one and only tree that God had prohibited, and they forfeited their freedom to live as good friends of God!

They brought God’s curse on the whole planet, and then under the curse their descendants filled Earth with corruption, violence, drunkenness, arrogance, and racism. Human technology evolved, but human honor didn’t.


And then I paused in my lament because I saw God start to break the curse that humans could not break. He found a man who trusted him, Abraham, and he promised Abraham that he would have enough descendants to bless every family on earth. Against all odds, it happened! Abraham’s old and barren wife miraculously had a son, Isaac, and he fathered 12 sons, each the patriarch of a clan in a whole tribe.


The tribe became enslaved in Egypt, but God freed it to become his very own liberating, curse-breaking tribe. He gave it a homeland, great kings and prophets, and centuries of success. I gladly put my sunshine all over these hopeful signs, but soon my lament resumed.


The tribe that was supposed to free the whole world from the curse brought the curse back on itself! The people began to worship other gods who are not gods, and they filled their model homeland with violence and abuse of power. Do you have any idea how sad it is to watch something like that for centuries and be millions of miles too far away to do anything about it?


And my lament is not over yet. Things got so bad that the tribe lost its homeland! The people were carried off to the imperial capital, Babylon. After 70 years God brought Persia to defeat Babylon and to send the tribe to resettle in its homeland with the Persian emperor’s blessing.

The tribe seemed to learn nothing from their exile or their restored freedom. Their leaders, Ezra and Nehemiah, could not believe how quickly the rescued people went back to ignoring their God and their purpose. I couldn’t believe it either.


The only hope left for the tribe was that the ancient prophecies would come true. God would send his Messiah from heaven to lead the tribe and break the curse once and for all. For 400 years, 146,100 sunrises, I lamented and waited for this to happen.


Then at last the new era dawned for the world. Jesus the Messiah was born to proclaim freedom from the curse. He healed people. He honored people who felt worthless and helpless. The perfect leader, he never did or said a wrong thing, never lied, never cheated, never looked down on even the poorest person.


Jesus sent out special groups of his followers to spread the proclamation: “Time’s up. This is it! God is setting the world right, bringing freedom for all.” Thousands flocked to him, wanting him to declare himself the Messiah and set up his kingdom.


He never gave his followers any military training or instructions, but the powerholders assumed he had a secret plan for a revolution and decided he had to be stopped. Jesus was condemned as if he were the leader of a dangerous popular movement. He was beaten savagely, nailed naked to a cross and left to die slowly in public as his enemies taunted him, “Where is your kingdom now?”


I lamented so deeply at the sight that from noon until 3PM on that black day, I hid my face from planet Earth. Even though I had watched many agonizing events since the first day I rose over Earth, I could not bear to watch that—God’s appointed rescuer being insulted and executed by human beings. I would not have lamented at all if God had sent a fatal plague to purge all those creatures from Earth for stooping that low.


But God had other plans. The instant Jesus died, I heard a sharp snap like a tree trunk snapping in a high wind. I raised my head to see what the sound was, and I smiled.


Below the Messiah’s lifeless body I saw the broken curse! Like a heavy wooden rod it had been beating humanity black and blue for thousands of years, and it had snapped in two! God was not purging the planet of human beings; he was purging human beings of their dark side, and he was doing it by stooping to accept the rejection of humanity. I would never have thought of that.


Jesus's followers buried him, and then there was a pause, like the pause in a piece of music before a dramatic burst of glorious sound. The pause lasted from Friday until Sunday at dawn. And then I smiled again because that Sunday became my favorite sunrise ever.


God the Father, who sent Jesus to break the curse, honored him by sending two angels to roll the stone away from the entrance to his tomb. I saw the Messiah walk out in total freedom, radiating such intense light that even I had to squint.


Later I saw him meet secretly with his stunned followers. I heard him explain the ancient prophecies that God’s appointed rescuer would have to suffer and die. I saw him reinstate Peter, freeing him from the guilt and shame of denying that he had ever met Jesus. And I saw him, the Freedom King, rise from the earth to take his throne in heaven. As he left, I heard him promise to come back to earth to reign in person.


Jesus’s final earthly order to his messengers was to tell the whole human race, “Fantastic news! Though you made a horrific mistake when you cursed the Curse-breaker, God in his mercy is giving you a second chance to declare allegiance to Jesus, the King of kings!”


I watched Jesus send his Holy Spirit down from heaven to empower the messengers, the free citizens of his kingdom, and I watched them start spreading the liberating news across planet Earth, just as Jesus had told them to.


I thought I would never have to lament again, but I was wrong. In fact, I have been lamenting for almost 2000 years from that day to this.


Century after century I have watched in disbelief as the messengers of freedom get rejected just like Jesus did. Though billions of people have accepted Jesus's freedom message, billions of others have not. The messengers have often been insulted, lied about, beaten, arrested, even killed.


What I have seen is too much for any sun to bear, and what I am seeing now is more of the same. The world keeps on refusing the message of the broken curse, the risen King, and the coming days of God’s glory on earth.


It is sad, so sad. And if I break down under the weight of this grief, if on some morning I do not rise, you will know that Earth has killed me.

40 views0 comments


bottom of page