Thursday, April 5, 2012

Good Friday

FridayJesus in the Garden.  Mk.  14:26, 32-42, Mt. 26:30, 36-40, Lk. 22:39-46,
                                                  Jn. 18:1

In His humanity Jesus did not want to go to the cross but He was committed to the will of God.  He came to do the will of God.  We are called to do the same.  Logic would have dictated that Jesus stay around and heal and preach but God’s plan involved the death of His Son.  Sometimes the Lord wants us to give up what is so precious to us in order to accomplish a higher purpose.  God’s will must always be our heart’s desire whether it makes sense or not.

The arrest, trial, crucifixion, and burial of Jesus.  Mk. 14:43-15:46, Mt. 26:47-27:60,
                                                                                     Lk. 22:47-23:54, Jn. 18:2-19:42

Thousands of wonderful illustrations have been given about the love of God.  By far the greatest example ever given is the one that Jesus gave when He went through the events of Good Friday.  The death of Christ on a rugged Roman cross is love at its ultimate.  Millions of words and hundreds of songs have been written but none can fully explain the love of God like the cross of Christ.  Here was a man who had never done anything wrong.  He had never told a “white lie,” talked back to His parents, lusted sexually, desired anything that was not His, hated anyone, or put anything or anyone ahead of the Father.  He was perfect.  Yet He died the most painful of deaths as He took on the sin of the world.  “He, who knew no sin, became sin.”  How do you adequately describe that gift of Himself?   He did it for you and me.  He paid the debt that we owed—a debt we were unable to pay.  Oh, the thought of it leaves me breathless!  As I gasp for words I can only lie in awe of the greatest act of love ever committed and the most sacrificial gift ever given.

While it was the Father’s will to put Jesus to death, it was done to atone for our sins.  God cannot wink at sin.  It ought to grieve us deeply that our rebellion is what necessitated this great sacrifice.  The law points out our sins and need of a savior but His cross perfectly pictures it.  There we can see our sins nailed on that cross and the Savior so willing experienced the pain.

And so on that fateful day the Son of God lived out both His love and His justice.  Sin could not go unpunished, so out of love Jesus met His own righteous requirements.  How can anyone think about this great action without taking action based on it?  How can anyone not receive His forgiveness and live every day for Him who loves us so. 
There was an old man who apparently was homeless and also a little crazy.  But he was smart enough to know and sing (not realizing he was being recorded), “This one thing I know, that He loves me so—Jesus’ blood never failed me yet.”

If you do nothing else today, take time to read about the passion of Christ in the scriptures and meditate on these things asking God to show you your proper response to all He has done.  “When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but lost, and pour contempt on all my pride."

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