Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday - Father Forgive Them


Good Friday - the day of Our Lord's Crucifixion - but what is Good about such a terrible death? What is Good about such suffering? What is Good about betrayal and torture and death?


"For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." - John 3:16
On Good Friday, we look to Calvary - to the Cross. This most solemn, most somber day of the year - we look to the moment that the weight of our sins - my sins - were lifted. We look to the Cross - a symbol of death, but transformed - because the Cross became the death of Death!
"For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." - John 3:17
On Good Friday, I look to the Cross - I see my death (for the wages of sin are death). I see my death overcome by a Great Love, a Sacrificial Love - a love big enough to shake the foundations of the universe.
"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed." - Isaiah 53:5
On Good Friday, I wince as I read the Gospel - the story of His Passion. I wince because I recognize myself...

I see myself in Judas in his moment of weakness and betrayal...


I see myself in Peter in his moment of weakness and fear as he denied his greatest friend...


I see myself in the mocking soldiers, the spitting crowds...


I see myself in the twisted logical arguments of the Pharisees...


I see myself building His Cross, moment by moment...


I have a lot to pay for...
"...the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles:And they shall mock Him, and shall scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him: and the third day he shall rise again" - Mark 10:33-34
On Good Friday, I try to imagine what Mary felt - watching the inevitable destruction of her son...her feelings of fear, pain, horror, grief...her abiding love...her deep faith. I wonder - when she held his broken body, the body she birthed and loved, did she ever doubt His word - that He would rise again? Did she ask God why - why my son? or was His Grace and her faith enough to sustain her through her grief?
"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.    Matthew 12:40
The third day - the third day He will rise again. What an act of faith to believe that! The disciples, who were with Jesus personally floundered in their belief that He would rise...but Jesus never faltered. I falter in my belief, I stumble, I fall on my face, I get caught in the muck and the mire -  but Jesus never lost faith, never lost sight of the sacrifice He was making, never gave up on us. And we betrayed Him.

On Good Friday - on every Good Friday - I remember why I need His sacrifice, His blood...


To wash away my sins...


To wash away my betrayals...


To wash away my disobedience...


To break open my heart of stone...


To wash away death...


 "I have sinned in that I have betrayed innocent blood..."
My Betrayal - My Sin - My Death .... and then ... His Great Love!

 “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”