In my own faith journey, I have come to know that following Jesus by living as he lived is not easy.
During Holy Week we celebrated the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is belief in this truth that is at the heart of what defines all Christians. We embrace the death of Jesus and His resurrection, proving He overcame death. We live in eternal Hope that for those of us who live out our lives as Jesus did, we will experience this also. God rescues us from this life plagued by sin and estrangement to God, to spend eternity in the Presence of God’s Love. This is the Christian Hope!
I must confess for years when I was younger, I looked upon Good Friday as an indictment of those people who did that to Jesus. It was a convenient way to disassociate myself from the truth of what my own sin does to God’s Presence in our world. We must place ourselves in this story or we’ll be hypocritical, living as He did when it’s convenient or perhaps not too painful. But the Cross of Jesus is not about those people, it’s about you and me and the undeniable truth of the pain/evil we can inflict on one another.
A great theologian was challenged by some secular scholars as they gazed upon Jesus hanging on the Cross. They asked him “Where was your God during the holocaust?” God did not murder six million Jews; humans did and most of the rest stood by and watched the evil/pain inflicted on others. A better question is where were the Christians who claimed faith and belief and how could they not act?
I have failed Jesus by mostly denying Him for myself, and every time I do, I’m no better than those who hammered nails into Jesus arms on the Cross. For me Good Friday portrays the most important truth of Holy Week. It shows us the darkness of our unsaved world, a world filled with people, even with belief and faith who stand aside complicit in nailing God’s presence to the Cross. There is no denying that the Cross yells out to us all that our world is so much in need of God’s Grace and rescue.
Could it be that Jesus is waiting on all of us to move beyond belief and faith to ‘doing’ so we can reflect Him, rather than just be as those who glance in the mirror to boost their egos because they are such nice Christians?
When I embrace the truth that what happened on the Cross to Jesus is the same thing we do every time we sin against God it all comes together for me. I feel overwhelmed by the depth of God’s Love that is deeper than I can fully comprehend. A love that would endure the Cross. All so we could come face to face with the truth of what our sin does to God’s presence. Despite what our sin does to God’s Presence in the world, He still sent a redeemer, Jesus.
My only response when I gaze upon the Cross is tears. Tears of overwhelming knowledge of how deeply God loves each of us! When I try to comprehend it, I fall short for it is deeper than human comprehension. Tears only tears.