It's finally here! My kids have a bonafide three-day weekend that is not due to a blizzard!! Our winter was so brutal, with so many snow days, that every single holiday, day off, or break day, was taken from the school calendar so as to get all the learnin' in before the end of the school year. Sure, we had nice days of winter repreive thrown in, but all in all, this winter was hard, was challenging, and was seemingly hopeless. It has seemed a tad unfair, and there were many times we thought it would never end. It has been that long haul through this winter to today, a planned and anticipated day off, that makes this day seem so very wonderful. Aaahhh. We had waffles and bacon, the baritone is bellowing from the 12-year-old's bedroom, and a couple of kiddos are doing art. It is a good day.
It is also Good Friday, the day we mark in honor of Christ's crucifixion; the day our savior endured His death on the cross. For Christ, this day, too, was a much planned for and anticipated day. His entire ministry on earth led up to this day. Just as my children, their father, and I (and every neighbor in a 300-mile radius)endured a long haul through a difficult winter, so Jesus endured a long haul through a three-year earthly ministry that was full of trial, rejection, and heartache. Sure, He had many, many bright spots (many more so than our bleak desolate Nebraska winter), but Christ's ministry sets the prime example for us of enduring and perservering just because we love God that much.
While I realize it was not exactly 2,030-ish years ago at this moment, let's pretend briefly that it was. What was Jesus doing at this exact moment of this day? I think at this point He had been awake for over 28 or 30 hours straight, and had already been beaten boyond recognition. He had sat up all night, bleeding and oozing from His wounds, suffering in pain, mockery, and rejection. He had stood trial first thing in the morning, and was probably being prepared for the long march through Jerusalem with his own murder weapon on his shoulders. All for my sins. For the redemption of all of His Father's creation. It was a grim, ugly moment. Talk about perserverance.
And what does Christ ask me to do for Him??
Am I asked to suffer--really suffer--for my sins? And I murdered for my sins? Do I have to carry a cross, endure a beating, and publically bleed and suffocate to death for my mistakes??
All I am asked to do is believe. To trust. To love. To put my hope in Him rather than myself. That's small potatoes compared to what the Lord asked of Jesus. I am sooooo good at accusing God of asking me to live through situations I believe are "unfair". I can whine and complain with the best of them. But the ultimate "unfair" request in history was when God asked Jesus Christ to die for MY sins. Not His. Mine.
And yet He did...with love...all for ME. And YOU. The lyrics of a song by Scott Krippayne are burning in my brain right now. Read for me...
You never asked my to hold out my arms
No one put nails my hands
I'll never fell the weight of the world
Or carry a cross on my back
Nothing I do could ever replace
All that You did on that day...
You took my place up there on the tree
You gave Your life so that I could be free
You died for me, now I'm living for You,
Lord, that's the least I could do.
The very least I, Shelly, can do for Jesus, is live for him. Believe, trust, love.
Happy Good Friday, everyone. May Christ's sacrifice for YOU be a glorious hope!