Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday

Some thoughts from the services I went to today at my school and at my church. Plus a few of my own in there. Remember Christ today.

"Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see if there is any suffering like mine, which the Lord brought on me in the day of his fierce anger."
-Lamentations 1:12

Today, 2000 years ago, Jesus, the Son of God was nailed to a cross so that the sins of the whole world could be atoned for and forgiven by His Father, God. And the world walked by, not knowing what He was suffering for them. Crucifixion was designed by the Romans to be the most painful death possible. The strongest adjective in the English language to describe pain is the word "excruciating". Notice most of the word "crucify" in there.

"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
-Isaiah 53: 3-6

God became man. Man rejected God, as man has done since the beginning of time. God hung on the cross so that man could find forgiveness if they believed. Man walked on by, ignoring God.

At every bend in the river, at every fork in the road, Jesus waits. At every surprising turn and in every corkscrew twist, Jesus lingers. At every T-junction and in every wrinkle of time, Jesus tarries.

Waiting for us to notice Him hanging there on that cross. And when we notice Him, we have to say to ourselves, "How could I have missed that?"

Man messed up. In Genesis 3, sin entered the world. And, as Romans 3:23 says, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." And, as Romans 6:23a says, "the wages of sin is death." We'd be condemned, cursed, for all of time. God's justice demands it.

But God's mercy and love denies it. So God solved the problem. He sent the only one who could take the sins of man away to live among sinners and die among sinners. His Son. If there are any parents reading this, I don't need to elaborate on how hard it would have been to see your only child die, and to turn your face away and abandon them. I mean, I'm not a parent yet, but I don't know if I could have the strength to do that. But God saved the world by letting man kill His Son.

"Amazing love, how can it be, that you, my king, would die for me?"

Christ died a cruel and horrible death that He didn't deserve. And to the last He said, "Father, forgive them. They don't know what they are doing."

"But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23b. The promise of Christ's death. Everlasting life, everlasting joy, everlasting peace, everlasting hope. A gift indeed. Christ died so that we could live. And then He beat death by rising from the dead.

"I'm forgiven because You were forsaken. I'm accepted, You were condemned. I'm alive and well, Your spirit lives within me because You died and rose again."

Amazing love. Indeed it is.

Christ died so that we could live.

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?

God is waiting for your answer.

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