And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Luke 22:44
And just like that, life splits open, splits me open and nothing is ever the same.
In a moment of decision, right or left, everything changes.
The certain uncertain.
Today, Good Friday, I think about the word good.
Really, there’s nothing good about it.
It’s a day that commemorates my Lord’s persecution, betrayal, humiliation, torture, rejection and murder.
He died a criminal’s death sentenced in an illegal trial for people who promoted His Roman style execution.
A death so horrific it defies comprehension.
Excruciate: to cause great agony, torment – the Latin comes from cruciate – “from the cross”
They pulled out His beard. (Isaiah 50:6)
He was beaten to the point where He was unrecognizable, disfigured and people were appalled to look at Him. (Isaiah 52:13)
“Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.” Psalm 22:16-17
7 inch nails driven into the small bones of His wrists.
Arms stretched wide hold rib cage in.
Breathing restricted to shallow breaths causes lung collapse.
Flies feast on His flesh and blood.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
For God so loved, He gave.
Gave life through His death.
Tetelestai – it is finished.
He is our kinsmen-redeemer.
The One who came, lived a perfect life and never sinned.
Fulfilled every requirement of the law and 356 prophesies.
Tore Heaven wide open.
Made a way where there was no way.
A way back to the garden, communion with God.
When Jesus laid down His life, His body became a bridge.
Jesus is there. He has made a way for man to go to God. He gave His blood that men might worship God the New Way. The blood of Jesus tells of better things than that which Abel used. Hebrews 12:24 NLV
But because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5
The good in Good Friday is what looked evil, unfair and tragic, God choreographed for ultimate good.
Victory over sin and death.
In the giving of freewill, God always knew what we’d choose.
To choose Him, we had to have the ability to not choose Him.
Love is always in the choosing.
When He gave us the gift of freewill, He always knew the price was Himself.
The value of anything is determined by cost.
Love always costs.
Now the ball is in my court.
I have what Adam and Even didn’t – a way back.
That’s the good news.
Salvation, what Jesus died to freely give, costs everything.
I must trade my ways for His, allow the old to pass away.
Love my enemies.
Forgive those who’ve hurt me, destroyed me.
Hurt me again.
Give up things I want for His will and way.
Die to self.
It’s supposed to.
Excruciate – pain from the cross.
To live I must die.
Being born again means being crucified and made one with Christ.
Share His suffering – ridicule, persecution, rejection from the world.
Bear the price of love.
Love that sacrifices, gives up, lays down, bleeds.
It’s always a freewill choice.
It’s never about me or what I want.
Self and love are incompatible.
I look for it in others, not understanding what love really is or it’s demands.
I want the attention of another and the feelings I think it provides.
Hollywood love is a superficial lie.
It never delivers and always disappoints.
It’s a mirage, a false promise to fulfill needs only God can meet.
Real love is patient, kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast.
It is not proud or rude or self-seeking.
It isn’t easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs.
Love rejoices with the truth.
It’s work, it’s a choice.
It’s choosing to believe God even when life comes up short and looks bad.
Holding onto hope.
Trusting the truth even when the world around me pounds a different message.
Becoming broken bread and poured out wine, a living sacrifice.
A thank offering of worship.
Choosing to follow Jesus even when it’s hard and costs me much.
Love in action.
Action that demonstrates belief.
There is one hope.
There is one truth.
His Name is Jesus and He is good.
Father God, Lord Jesus,
Thank you. Thank you for your great love. For calling me out of darkness and calling me Your Own. Thank you for all You endured on the cross in the person of Jesus. Your love is incomprehensible and never fails. I pray I remember all You went through to make a way where there was no way not just today but every day. The veil is torn. You saved me to send me – to be salt and light and a light on a hill. To tell others the truth in a world engineered to distract and bring death. Grow me, change me, conform me to Your character that I might stand in the gap and shine Your light on the narrow path that leads to You. I love You Father God, I love You Lord Jesus, Adonai, Yaweh, Holy Spirit. In Your Holy, Matchless Name I pray, Amen.