CLOSE reports that the mediation sessions between Bishop Eddie Long and his accusers could be approaching a resolution, and he certainly sounded hopeful as he kicked off Easter weekend with a Good Friday sermon in which he proclaimed, “This ain’t going to be no bad Friday for me; it’s going to be a Good Friday.”

Four young men have sued Long, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and the LongFellows Youth Academy, alleging that Long coerced them into having sexual relations. The parties agreed to mediation and are now reportedly close to resolving the remaining issues that stand in the way of an agreement.

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On Easter Sunday, WSB-TV Atlanta reports that Long again left any mention of the lawsuit against him out of his sermon, but delivered what some have interpreted as a cryptic message for his accusers: “You ain’t messin’ with me. I shall rise again, and I ain’t going through this,” he said. In another of his messages that day, he added, “You have to go down there and let the devil know that what they thought was gonna kill you, didn’t kill you. What they thought was gonna bring terror to you, didn’t bring terror to you, and you made the enemies public spectacle.”

We’ll probably never find out exactly what happened between Long and his accusers or what’s going on behind the closed doors of the mediation sessions. But we can’t help thinking that Long’s willingness to turn what was supposed to be a celebratory message about Jesus into a hostile and defensive one about his own personal drama must have been less than inspiring, even to his devoted followers. When it comes to being shockingly self-righteous and insensitive to the allegations against him, it seems that this controversial pastor doesn’t even take holidays off.

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