Friday, March 29, 2013

That's Why They Call It "GOOD" Friday

I think this is the first Good Friday that I can honestly say I am joyful. I woke up that way. The day ahead didn't carry with it that usual sense of doom and gloom that Good Friday seems to bring. Maybe it's because the sun is shining and the birds are singing. Perhaps it's the smell of the outdoors coming through my open kitchen window. Maybe it's because there's the promise of a temperature over 50 degrees today, and if you live in Michigan, you know that's no small thing. It's Good Friday. It's Friday. It's good.

I have been totally obsessed with this set of Scriptures for the last two weeks, reading over them every day, sometimes more than once a day.

  Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
 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.

 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.  
(from Isaiah 53)

Maybe they call it "GOOD" Friday, because what's not GOOD about that? 

 And then there's this: 

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit." (Galatians 3: 13-14) 

What's not GOOD about that?


"To Him who loves us and has freed (loosed) us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father--to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen." (Revelation 1: 5-6)

What's not GOOD about that?    

You know this one...

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." (John 3: 16-17)

God doesn't just love me....He SO loved me!

What's not GOOD about that? 

It could be because one day, on a day that seems a lifetime ago, yet just yesterday, they stood me before the crowd, rocks in their hands. They demanded my stoning, but He kept drawing pictures with His finger in the sand. When He straightened and said, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her," I could hear the stones, dropping, one. by. one. I dared not look up, until He spoke to me in the kindest, gentlest voice I had ever heard. He lifted my head, put a hand on each of my tear wet cheeks, looked me straight in the eye, and said, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" I said, "No one, sir." "Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin."
One day, on a day that seems a lifetime ago, yet just yesterday, He would give His back to be beaten and His cheeks to those who pulled out His beard. He would be mocked and spit on. He would make His way down the Via Delorosa amid the shouting insults of the crowd. He would scarcely make it up the hill for His weakness and be laid flat on wood and the hands that cupped my face would be driven straight through with nails. On that dark and windy hill, He would cry, 
I was set free, my ransom paid, my redemption bought! 
Oh, there's nothing as GOOD as that!  
That's why I call it GOOD Friday!

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