Good Friday is a weird title for the day. Because no one on that day, over 2000 years ago, was thinking about how good things were as Jesus hung on a cross. And when I think about this day, my first thoughts do not take me to the empty tomb. Later in the week, my thoughts go there, sure. And yes, I do think about what terrific and powerful things transpired because Jesus was on that cross, how sins were forgiven, and humanity was ransomed. But for now, I am not celebrating or raising my hands in worship.
Right now, I am hanging my head in shame. Because it’s my fault.
I remember the old song,
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 held Him there…
Whenever I sing that song, or think about what happen on that first Good Friday, I cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of sorrow. Sorrow that my actions, my deeds, my thoughts and decisions are solely responsible for the place that this Man was in.
I say solely mine because He didn’t deserve it. I did. I say solely mine because if I was the only person to exist in all of history, He still would have wound up on that cross, lovingly sacrificing Himself for me and my sins.
My actions carry a tremendous power, and a spiritual weight that cannot be measure or quantified in a way that would make sense to us. How often I act without thinking. How often I do something without a second thought about the consequences or the repercussions. I don’t mean just the big life decisions, but everyday, small, snap decisions, they carry the same kind of weight to them, the same kind of burden.
Right now, I am not looking toward to the empty tomb. That’s for Sunday. Right now, on Friday, I look to a crucified man, an innocent victim of my deplorable actions.
People don’t like talking about sin. We tend to use other words or terms to try to make this sicken reality more palatable. We’ll call them mistakes, accidents, moments of weakness, or alternative lifestyle choices. But calling a rose by another other name wouldn’t change what the rose is. And calling sin by some other name or title doesn’t change what it is either.
It was my sin, my disobedience, my lying, my cheating, my stealing, my hating, my rebellious heart and spirit; it was those things that I had done that drove Jesus to the cross. It’s my fault. I am a sinner.
I am a sinner.
Today, I’m dwelling on that reality. I am a sinner. A man undone and unworthy to dwell in the presence of God because of my disobedience.
Yes, that is only half the story. Yes, we need to shift our focus from our sin, our unpayable debt to what else drove Jesus to the cross; His love. But I feel like we skip over the fact that we are sinners, jump right to Jesus’ death, so we get to the exciting part on Sunday. There wouldn’t be a Sunday without the Friday, and Friday happened, yes, because of Jesus love for us. But it also happened because we are a lost people, an idolatrous people, a sinful people.
So, today, I let that sink in. And I urge you to as well.
Don’t dwell on it and make yourself feel shameful or disgraced or unloved. That’s not what I getting at. I want us to understand the sinful nature, how deep it in ingrained in us.
Then, when we move to talk about Jesus’ love for us, then we will gain a better understanding, and appreciate all the more, as the Apostle Paul said, “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. (Ephesians 3:18)”
God bless you this Easter holiday.
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