Today is the one day of the year labeled with that adjective. An adjective so very overused in our society, used to describe a wide variety of things in this world. But this good is not of the world. Honestly, I feel like good doesn’t even begin to carry the weight and importance of this day. Jesus died. He died an embarrassing, agonizing, and unimaginable death. The Father actually turned His back on the Son. That is something incomprehensible to us as humans. And, you know what, praise God for that! Praise God that we never, ever have to understand the darkness of God turning away from us.
Sisters, this truth is so, so good. Jesus was not weak and He was not murdered. His powerful love was the cause of His death. It was that love, not nails or Roman guards, that held him to that cross. Can we just stop for a second and think about that? When Jesus was given the option to save His life or ours, we were chosen. Woah. That is why we can turn a death into a celebration.
My heart is so full as I am trying to process all of this. Throwing aside the cookie-cutter crucifixion story and starting to break down the cold, hard facts of Jesus’ death, I am overwhelmed with emotion. It is all so raw, and yet the grace behind it is so sweet.
Tonight at my church’s Good Friday service, we finished the sermon of Jesus’ death with this song. As I sang, I stood there in tears. The words spoke straight to my core. Every line I sang, I became more aware of what Abba did for me, and how utterly undeserving I am of His pardon.
How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should 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 sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that left 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 power, 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
But friends, these are not words of shame, they are words of healing. Words of hope, that His wounds paid our ransom. We are free! This is why Good Friday is good. God’s perfect love was consolidated into the single most powerful act of love in history. The Father sacrificed His son. Jesus bore every sin known to man and faced spiritual separation from God. All so that we never have to. It is unfathomable, but it is true.
My prayer is that we can rest in His freedom, that we praise the one who paid our debt and raised us from the death!