Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday: Feel the Nails

I need to write another post on Good Friday.  But, for now, here's mine from a couple years back.  God bless you today and always.

Today, we're taking a break from the 7 Quick Takes Series to focus on something much more important: Good Friday...the day that started it all...our salvation and our great hope that one day we will be with Christ again in Heaven.  How odd is it that every Good Friday I can remember has been a gloomy day?  Today, the fog prevents me from seeing past our front gate, and mist drizzles in the air, reminding me that today, Jesus died for us.  As the soldiers beat him and jeered, he never conceded to their demands.  He never renounced His Father or relieved Himself of His suffering (something he could have easily done, being God).  Instead, he prayed.  He prayed for them...for those who were taking his very life.  In essence, He prayed for us...we are the Roman soldiers; we are Judas; we are the very ones who nailed him to the cross.

As we are called to fast and abstain from meat this last Friday of Lent, we cannot help but be reminded (as each hunger pain hits) of the ultimate sacrifice made this day so many years ago...for us.  Did we deserve it?  No.  Do we ever?  No.  But, thank God for His mercy, for His grace offers us another chance at eternity with Him, every time we fail.

And, now, as a mom, I have a tiny bit better understanding of Mary's perspective.  She watched in horror as others humiliated her Son, as they ripped into His skin with every whip, as the blood poured from His brow when they mockingly placed a crown of thorns on His head.  She knew that this was the purpose of His life, yet it did not take away the pain...the greatest pain as a parent...losing a child.  Helpless, she had to trust in God's plan.

Looking to Mary and Jesus today I am reminded of God's incredible work in our lives.  Sure, there are times when it feels as if He isn't there.  Times when we do not understand our suffering.  Times when the world gets us down and our thoughts quickly turn to what others may think.  If we are true to ourselves, those are not the times when God is far away.  He never is.  Those are the times in which He is strengthening our resolve...allowing us doubt, questioning, and suffering to share in the cross of Christ.  And when we are at our worst, He gently reminds us of those who have come before, leaving an example for every generation...Mary and Jesus.  

I can easily get bogged down in my own "pain."  Never, though, does my pain entail watching my son suffer and die, as Mary did.  Never do I have to physically carry a cross and be nailed to it in order to save someone else's life.  My pain is almost comical comparatively.  However, when I pull myself from my worry and anxiety, I can clearly see what this Good Friday is all about...a love that is anything but selfish, a total commitment to God, and a humble acceptance of His will for our lives.  Mary and Jesus knew that their ways were not of the world and that the world would not understand; they knew His will would come at great cost; they knew that suffering would rip them apart.  However, they also knew that to choose anything less than His total will for their lives would cost more.  

Good Friday is not good in the sense of a happy, giddy celebration.  It is Good because it has forever changed the world, reminding us that unconditional love doesn't stop with wishing others well and offering an indifferent smile as we pass them by.  It is Good because it reminds us that the Good is often painful; that God's will for our lives demands that we love until it hurts; that in order to spend eternity with Him, we often have to deny ourselves a "Good" life in the eyes of society.  Good Friday is not the end.  It is the beginning.  

Will I look to the sufferings of this world and wallow in self-pity?  Or, will I look past my self long enough to see Mary and her complete acceptance of a life of suffering?  Will I allow the ideas of the world to shape my own, hoping that I fit into the mold?  Or will I look to the King of the World, breathing His last breath on the cross, not trying to convince the crowd of His royalty, but instead praying for those who persecuted him while so fervently living God's call.

He gave everything so that we might have life.  Good Friday reminds me that my very life must be completely His.

You don't want to miss this video (click on the title).

Feel the Nails

They tell me Jesus died
For my transgressions
That he paid that price a long, long time ago
When he gave his life for me
On a hill called Calvary
But there's something else I want to know

Does he still feel the nails
Every time I fail
Can he hear the crowd cry "Crucify" again
Am I causing him pain
Then I know I've got to change
I just can't bear the thought of hurting him.

2nd verse
It seems that I'm so good at breaking promises
And I treat his precious grace so carelessly
But each time he forgives
What if he re-lives
The agony He felt on that tree

Chorus 1x

Holy, holy
Holy is the Lord
Holy Holy
Holy is the Lord

Do you still feel the nails
Every time I fail
Have I crucified you Jesus with my sins
Oh I'm tired of playing games
I really want to change
I never want to hurt you again

Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord
Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord

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