After 30 years of Good Friday services, it can be easy not to feel the weight of the day. It can be easy to get into a routine and simply participate...knowing that was a pivotal day in history (pivotal is an understatement...I know) that should deeply affect my every breath...and yet it's easy to simply participate. Sing the songs about the cross. Hear the story retold. Know it's good. And yet feel nothing.
I wish I could say that wasn't true. I wish I could say that grief overwhelmed me on this day. I wish I could say I fell to my knees in sorrow. I wish I could say my every breath was spent praising Jesus for the ridiculously amazing act of love he showed the world on this day.
There are people in my life who live this way and it is beautiful. There truly is no more beautiful sight than seeing someone worship their King. (Oh you know you've peeked around the room during musical worship time. Don't pretend you haven't.) The faces of those in heartfelt worship are BEAUTIFUL!!
And yet Good Friday can come and go like any other day. We can walk away and never be changed.
But my life has been changed. I have a God who loves me enough to send his Son to this world. To leave the perfection of heaven and come to this broken, fallen world. To live a perfectly sinless life. To be brutally murdered at the hands of sinful men. To take on all of my sin. And yours. To take it as his own, even though he was sinless. And not only face death, but to take the wrath that went along with all of it. To have His Father turn away. To be forsaken. All so that I might be forgiven and set free from the burden of sin and death. So that I can have eternal life. So that I can be free from condemnation. So that I can know fullness of joy.
What was a devastating Friday for Jesus was a Good Friday for me.
So why this year? Why such an impact? Why does it feel so real and deep and painful this year?
I don't know. Maybe it was our pastor's presentation of Old Testament prophecy with New Testament reality. (I don't think I've ever heard them side by side like that before.) Maybe it was the songs about the Cross. (I've realized that every time a "favorite" song comes on iTunes, it's about the cross.) Maybe it was dipping our fingers in red paint and putting our mark on the cross. (It's as close to participating in His death as I have done before.) I don't know what it was, but it was powerful.
2,000 years ago, I participated in Jesus' death. I maybe wasn't there physically, but my sin was there. And it was paid for. I am eternally grateful for the great sacrifice that Jesus made that day. The Lamb of God. Slain for the World. The ultimate sacrifice.
a simple girl on a