Friday, April 02, 2010

What's So Good About It?

There is no greater holiday for me than Easter. I love celebrating that Jesus rose from the grave and conquered sin. But tonight as we go to our Good Friday Service, I have this odd desire to celebrate his suffering and death. Why would I celebrate such a thing? There's no colorful eggs or fluffy bunnies. What's so good about Good Friday?

We don't like suffering. It's bad. It hurts. I never even saw the movie The Passion of the Christ because I just don't want to go there. But there is a reason and purpose behind suffering. Jesus' suffering provided forgiveness and salvation. Our sins are washed away. Gone.

"Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation -"
Colossians 1:21-22
What about my suffering? As I come to terms with the depth and magnitude of sin in my life, it hurts to think about the suffering Jesus went through because of me. He knew all the evil that would come out of my heart and died with that in sight. It was a long, grueling and humiliating process. When I am faced with the reality of my sin, His sacrifice is even a bigger cause for celebration.

My suffering has a purpose too. It helps me identify with Christ. It produces perseverance and maturity. As I look back at the last few months of my life I can honestly say that I'm thankful. I'm thankful for God's correction. Through hard times He has shown me things I otherwise would not know. Maybe there is good in suffering. That might be the "good" in Good Friday.

Jesus willingly went to the cross because he knew I would hate, be jealous, gossip, lie, and cheat. He knows all those things about me and still willingly died to set me free. For a lot of years I wanted to pretend like I didn't sin. I didn't really do anything that bad. Come on, I'm a church girl.

Pretending to be good only soiled Jesus' amazing sacrifice. If I'm pretty good, then His suffering is worth nothing. And that is wrong. So I'm looking forward to celebrating this night. Remembering what He did for me. Through my sin, He is glorified because of his perfection. He is magnified through my shortfalls. He is alive through God's power. And He's waiting for me with open arms.

O sacred Head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, thine only crown:
how pale thou art with anguish,
with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish
which once was bright as morn!

What thou, my Lord, has suffered
was all for sinners' gain;
mine, mine was the transgression,
but thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
'Tis I deserve thy place;
look on me with thy favor,
vouchsafe to me thy grace.

What language shall I borrow
to thank thee, dearest friend,
for this thy dying sorrow,
thy pity without end?
O make me thine forever;
and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
outlive my love for thee.

"Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool"
Isaiah 1:18

1 comment:

Peter and Nancy said...

Do you know the hymn "How Deep the Father's Love for Us"? Your post brought it to mind -- there's a line that convicts me every time: "Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice/Cry out among the scoffers". He did it for us . . .
Happy Good Friday, and Happy Easter!