Isaiah 53: 3-5 "He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and aquainted with grief;
and like one whom men hide their face,
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities..."
Today is Good Friday. Why is it good, you ask? Christendom takes the bread and breaks it, drinks of the cup and ponders on the good, THE GOOD of what transforms us, pushes us through into the Holy of Holies, passed the torn veil and into a New Covenant, a new promise of Hope, the everlasting riches of His divine glory.
Think back on a day you totally felt ashamed, worthless, sick to your stomach for a horrible decision, unforgiven, guilty, angry, desperate...
Now imagine every human being that ever lived taking those same thoughts and feelings, putting them in a backpack and placing them on the shoulders of Christ. Still, this was only one day, one set of emotions multiplied by all of humanity, the ones we admit, the ones we'd really like to see forgiven. What about all the others, the ones we still covet, hold on to, wrestle with, keep secret, deny...?
Jesus Christ on that Cross took on all of humanity's sin, the obvious and the hidden, the defined and the undefined, the tragic disregard and the intentional and blatant self-serving hedonism of mankind, all of it, and then He died...Because He is Good and we are not!
That sin, that affliction we carry, that sickness deep in our lungs, that infection in our gut, those nervous anxieties and restless nights, that heavy burden that drowns us and keeps us from true joy...He absorbed into his God-man skin, into the very Holy cells of His righteous Being, circulating through His heart, each beat calling out our name to the Father, "Forgive them..."
And this is the Gospel Truth (Mark 15).
Good Friday is Good because it is so personal. It is you He sees from the Cross, you whose sin He gathers and burns.
Break the bread and partake of His goodness, remember His body bruised and crushed. Savor the Bread of Life and His sustaining grace that fills us with awe and wonder. Sip from the cup of His Salvation, the River of Life that floods the deluge of sin to revive and transform us for His glory.
Victory awaits us. A triumphant celebration prepares. Faith is forged and Hope is renewed. For this is not the end of the Good. Good continues eternal.
All that He requires is your humble heart.
"Blessed are those who are poor in spirit ( to know their need for God), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:4
Father, it is incomprehensible the depth of Your Good Love for us, for me. Yet You show me everyday how to do this life, how to live in joy, how to conquer sin and be a light. You do that in such personal ways that encourage me to want to know You even more intimately and share Your plan, worship You with abandon and fellowship with others--THE plan of Love that moves us into the everlasting eternity spent with You. Thank you Father God for sending Your Son to die for me on that Cross, for Your plan to have communion again with us sinners. May we remain always humble and willing to be obedient to Your calling, sharing the Good that is You, Amen.