April 4, 2015

Interrupted by Grace 2015: The Suffering of Good Friday

I'm blogging daily in April. Learn more about the series here.*

It is difficult to miss grace on Good Friday.  What makes the Friday good is grace: the Son of God, hanging on a tree, suffering an unjust criminal's death after a hasty and illegitimate trial, enduring the mockery of those He came to save, and drinking the cup of the wrath of God the Father, so that His people never have to.  That's grace.

For the first and only time in history, fellowship in the Godhead was broken.  But the curtain at the temple?  The curtain that separated God's dwelling place from common man?  IT WAS TORN IN TWO!

Because of that blessed act of love and obedience,

because God the Son left the beauty of heaven to walk the dusty roads of earth,

because redemption was always part of God's plan,

Good Friday opened up the door to God for us!

I don't think there is a good-er Friday that ever was or ever will be.

I was interrupted by grace yesterday while reflecting on Jesus during the Journey to the Cross, a stations of the cross type event at church.  The focus of the stations was on Jesus, the suffering servant.  Jesus had the power and the resources He needed to escape His desperate situations, but He continued silently, submissively, lovingly down the Via Dolorosa, for you, for me.

We were invited to consider the difference between Jesus's obedience and suffering from Gathsemene to Golgatha.  We were also invited to consider our obedience in comparison ...

How undeserving we are of Jesus's gift of love!  We are so feeble and weak, crumbling at the thought of suffering, let alone the experience of it!!  I said to my daughter later in the day - she had gone with me to the Journey to the Cross - that I was quite struck by Jesus's endurance in suffering because I go out of my way to avoid suffering.

Grace suffers for the object of her affection.

And grace interrupts us, especially during Holy Week, beckoning us to come into her home and experience something greater than we ever have before - a life of freedom, joy, love and hope - not at our expense, but at the expense of Jesus.  By His wounds we are healed.

Once settled into the home and family of God, grace sustains us in whatever brief and momentary sufferings we may be called to endure here.  Our Christ and His cross, (and the empty grave, but we're not there yet this weekend!), strengthen our desire to live and love and suffer well for His praise, honor, and glory.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:1-3

*I forgot to mention in my intro post, that I don't write on Sundays during monthly series, so I'll see ya on Monday.  Happy Easter!

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