Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Friday, April 3, 2015

Lenten Reflection #38: See The Good

It is hard to see that there was any good in the Friday before the first Easter.

An innocent man is arrested, quickly run through a sham trial and sentenced to death.  Jesus is mocked, ridiculed, beaten, and forced to carry his own instrument of torture and death to the outskirts of town.  There, he has spikes driven through his wrists and his feet to fasten him to the cross and he is lifted up to hang on the cross until he can breathe no more.  Even as he hangs there struggling for breathe and slowly dying, people, even one that is being crucified along side him, continue to hurl insults his way.

Meanwhile, friends that had been with him for the past three years, run away and hid.  They claim to never had known him.  A mother cries at the loss of her child.

Jesus dies.  He is stabbed in the side and he is taken down from the cross and laid in a tomb.  The tomb is sealed.  At first glance, hope is lost, joy is replaced by mourning and fear wins the day.

They call it Good Friday, yet when we look at the Friday before Easter it is hard, at the level of sight, to see anything good about Friday.  We may not see good in what we see but good is coming out of what we see.

The prophet Isaiah foretold about the good that comes out of the tragedy that we see on the surface of Friday.  He says, "But he was pierced for our transgressions he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5) That Friday, with all the pain and punishment, brings healing and restoration that you and I could not bring to ourselves.  Friday is about God loving you and I so much that he willingly took the beating, ridicule, punishment and death for us.  He says, "I will take the blame.  Blame me for there sin."  He dies to make a way for us not to have to go through life separated from him.

In Jesus own words, on that Friday, we can see the good.

He says, "Father,forgive them for they know not what they do."
He says, "It is Finished."
He says, "Today, you will be with me in paradise."

On the surface, and at first glance we see the pain, the punishment, and the tragedy.  We can see the passion.  But if we look for the good we can see it.  There may not be any good in what we see on the surface but good is coming out of what we see.  God does for us what we can't do for ourselves.  God makes a way for us to be forgiven, healed, and restored into relationship with him.  He takes on our pain, our punishment for us.  So, that we can be with him in paradise.

I have a good friend that always reminds us to look for the good.  He says, "It's a beautiful day in God's world be sure to see the good."

Today is Good Friday, be sure to see the good.  This is a day that shows just how far God will go, and just what he will endure, to live in relationship with you.  This is a day where love gives all.

He did it all for you.

In Christ's love and mine,

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