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Friday, April 6, 2012

"Good" Friday : What Are We To Do?

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

saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” Luke 22:42

I've always found the notion of the day the Savior of the World was brutally executed being called "GOOD" Friday a little confusing. Sure, the outcome for mankind was very good, perfect in fact. Yes, the obedience Jesus modeled was nothing short of miraculous. But the pain, the suffering, the having your father turn away from you, the lonely walk down the Via Dolorosa, the knowledge that your father did NOT take the cup from you but is allowing everything to go on as prophesied, it must have felt many things other than "good" to the man part of our Messiah.

I think we tend to assume Jesus had an unusually high pain tolerance. Some scholars have theorized that the whippings alone would have killed any normal mortal and the fact that Jesus made it ALL THE WAY to Calvary is evidence of this fact. I don't know. God's word doesn't say and where it doesn't say, I hesitate to guess. I'm afraid others assume that Jesus somehow ENJOYED the pain and process of His death because He knew it would atone for the sins of mankind. Again, the Bible does not speak to any "enjoyment", only ultimate obedience, acquiescence, surrender to that which you would prefer to be taken away, far away, from you.
We forget that when Jesus took on flesh just like ours, that flesh was full of pulsing arteries, nerve endings, a spinal cord that transmits messages of pain just like yours and mine. Every whip, every step, every pulled out hair and every bitter insult were FELT, just as any human body "feels".

Please don't misinterpret this post as an emotional anthropomorphic word fest.
I would never WANT to make God like me in any way. He made that choice when he wrapped Himself in flesh and agreed to submit Himself to the human experience.

Why? Was it "all for me" as some songs so wrenchingly communicate? My reformed tendencies make me shun such a notion as man-centered and somehow off base.
But the book of Isaiah clearly says that "He was pierced for our transgression, crushed for our sins . . ." Yes, it was for me. My own personal discomfort with this idea is utterly irrelevant here.

So, what should our response be to so sacred a knowledge that the REASON for the life blood to drain from the Holy Creator of the Universe was our own sin???? What can we do? Are we to just take it in and ponder this news? Are we undone with no hope of repayment for this ultimate act? We are.

So we gratefully thank Him, we acknowledge that we did nothing to earn this sacrifice and we can do nothing that holds a candle to it in exchange. We realize how valued we are, for no other reason than that our Father just CHOSE to make us the objects of His affection and we lay our lives before Him to use as He sees fit.

We tell others, we do good, we serve the poor, we selflessly give of ourselves inasmuch as we are able with the sin sickness and it's grimy deposits coloring our deeds and we say "yes, Lord. Good Friday was good indeed"!

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