Posts Tagged ‘Good Friday’

I am in need of Good Friday.  That’s because I’m in need of love.  Not the love that people “fall into” or “out of,” nor the kind too commonly used in place of “like” when fawning over a friend’s dress, sparkly ring, or new shoes.

Love, as shown by God, is compassion.  Compassion is “com,” meaning “with,” and “passion,” as shown on Good Friday by the passion of Christ.  God’s passion for me means that He desired something on my behalf so intensely that it caused His suffering.  Compassion means to suffer with.

Since childhood, I have sung “Jesus loves me, this I know.”  His love is not a mere hug and kiss.  It is not getting what I want.  It is not Jesus thinking happy thoughts about me.  Jesus’ love for me involved His persecution, sorrow, pain, abandonment, and death.  This love cannot be expressed in a romantic way, nor can it be summed up in the modern phrase, “I just want to be with the one I love.”  Defined in this way, love is more about how the one I love makes me feel.

God loves me, but it’s not because I make Him “feel good” or “happy.”  In fact, He is angered by my rebellious sins.  His love, therefore, takes me by surprise.  He does not declare me unlovable!  He does not turn His face from me as I deserve, but comes to suffer with me!  “God loved the world so that He gave His only Son.”  The word “so” is not used here for emphasis; therefore, I really shouldn’t paraphrase John 3:16 as “God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son.”  This verse more accurately reads: “For this is the way God loved the world: He gave His only-begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”

Good Friday doesn’t seem like a “good” day for Jesus.  But, it is a good day for me.  Yes, there is His tortured body on a cross that I would prefer to look past so that I can experience the joy of Easter.  But there cannot be a Resurrection Sunday without a suffering Friday.  On this Friday, the love of God is shown to me!  God so intensely desired my rescue from sin that He suffered with and for me.  He laid the burden of my sins upon His only Son who did what I could not do for myself.

What wondrous love is this?  It is the suffering Servant Jesus.  It is His submission, humiliation, and death.  This Love could not be kept in a grave.  Love is risen… and abides forever with me.  With you.  With all who call Him Savior and Lord.

Even when we’re feeling unlovable.


(With appreciation to Rev. David H. Petersen)

Read Full Post »

pontius pilate & jesusIt is Good Friday.  I am thinking about courts of law… and truth.

I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

Pilate asked,

What is truth?”

There are Pilates everywhere.  They say that truth is “whatever you want it to be.”  There is “my truth” and “your truth.”

So, on this Good Friday I have the answer to Pilate’s question.  It is the only answer that will serve the good of self and others.  It is the answer for ethics, relationships, and courts of law.   What is truth?

Jesus Christ is Truth.

A truth by any other name is shifting sand.

Read Full Post »

The first man and woman were naked in the Garden.  There was no shame because both were created in God’s perfect image.  But, when Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God, they fell from that perfect image and were no longer righteous (holy) in the sight of God.  They lost their pure and trusting relationship with God.

Sin distorted what God created.  The man and woman no longer saw each other with perfect eyes or experienced a perfect relationship.  Eve tried to cover her nakedness with leaves.   But, God said a bikini of fig leaves wasn’t enough.  What she did with her own hands wasn’t enough.  Trying to partially cover herself wasn’t enough.

The consequences of sin changed everything for men, women, and all of their children.  Today, we are deceived by our distorted ideas of right and wrong.  We are arrogant and immodest.  But, God still says that a bikini of fig leaves isn’t enough.

So, is that it?  Does God just sit in His heaven and count our sins against us?   When sin exposed nakedness and spoiled a perfect relationship between God and his creation, did He abandon us all?  Did He say, I am Holy.  You are not.  I am finished with you.   No.

God had mercy.  The Creator of life had a plan that would reconcile sinful people with a Holy God.  Adam and Eve could no longer stay in the Garden, but God did not send them naked or without hope into a changed world.   He made a promise… and then He covered them with garments of clothing made by His own hands.  The promise was a Savior from sin.  The clothing was really more than just animal skins.

God’s mercy required sacrifice and special clothes.  We can think of that sacrifice and “robe of righteousness” today.  On Good Friday, we remember that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  There is nothing we can do to cover our sin.  But, thanks be to God!  Adam and Eve did not have to despair, and neither do we!  In mercy, God clothes those whom He loves.  We are clothed in righteousness at our baptism.  We are clothed in righteousness when we hear the Gospel and the Holy Spirit works faith.

Physical clothing reminds us of our sinful condition.  But, the clothes we wear also remind us of God’s mercy.  When God covered Adam and Eve, He sacrificed an animal.  This first shedding of blood in the Bible points us toward God’s ultimate shedding of Jesus’ blood on the Cross.  Every time we get dressed, we can remember that God has “clothed [us] with garments of salvation” and “wrapped [us] with a robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10).

The covering of our sins by Christ on Good Friday was not partial, like a bikini of fig leaves.  It was complete.

Makes me think differently about getting dressed.

Read Full Post »