10 April 2009

Good Friday is always hard...

There is something in me that wants to just get through this day. I see it in the distance on the calendar and an anxiety, an unease, wells up inside me. There is no way I can properly deal with Good Friday.  

Part of me wants the whole day to be solemn but in an unholy, religious way. I'm tempted to believe that, if I am somber enough, I will have paid proper tribute to the day.  Another piece feels it is impossible to understand the gravity of the death of the Messiah so why make this day any different than the others.  Proudly my heart says something like "Well, everyday is Good Friday for me" when it is not.  

There are a thousand defenses. All of them hiding in the bush from an inescapable truth: 
I killed God.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53.4-5)

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5.21) 

he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9.26)
I offer the following resources, for hiders like me, to confront the weight of your sin head-on. May that confrontation be a doorway to resurrection joy.

For the literary:
An excerpt on (Col. 1:19-20 and Col. 2:14)  from A Violent Grace by Michael Card
Good Friday, a poem by Christina Rossetti

For the visual:

For the auditory and musical:
Mark 15 from the ESV bible online (click "listen" at the top of the page)
How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross
My guilt upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no powr’s, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom


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