Any time that I envision the scene of what we refer to as Good Friday, I imagine the cross erected on Calvary with the body of Jesus limply hanging on. In my mind the 8th symphony of the Austrian composer Anton Buckner plays in the background, leading into its final crescendo.
Then Jesus speaks, shaking the very foundations of the earth as He utters: “It is finished.”
It’s a dramatic setting for a dramatic choice.
Jesus, the Son of the Everlasting Father, a part of the Holy Trinity, and the Word made flesh, came down to the very earth He created to sacrifice His life to save the human race.
And you know what never seizes to blow my mind? It’s not that He left His glorious throne in heaven to be born in a prickly manger here on earth, or that He left His celestial body to embrace the limitations of human form. No, it’s something that grips my heart at it’s core. The fact that Jesus, who was present when mankind was first created through Adam (Genesis 1:26 ), willingly allowed the very human beings He created in His own image to crucify Him. Think about this for a moment. Let this magnificent truth set deep into your hearts.
God allowed His own creation to flog Him, to nail His holy hands and feet to a piece of wood (which He created), to be carried to a hill (that He also created) to spill blood to cleanse the sins of the entire world. Everyone was paid for in that moment. Everyone. Whether people chose to believe in Him or not, He still died for them. It wasn’t the nails that kept God hanging on the cross (let’s be honest here, He created the entire universe and the materials used to make those four nails), but love. It was love that kept Him bound to that wooden cross, not any efforts made by mankind.
This is the most profound, yet sobering, demonstration of humility in love that mankind has ever known. And will ever know. Jesus truly is the King of Glory. He is the Savior of the world. And He does deserve the highest of praise. He deserves it, point blank.
According to the Gospel of Luke, this is how the story unfolds in the last hour.
“It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father into your hands I commit My spirit.’ When He said this, He breathed His last.” Luke 23:44-46
Jesus dies and the world mourns, because their King has just been crucified.
The curtain drops. But there is no applause.
Because many believed that His story was tragically ending there.
But, unbeknownst to them, the curtain has dropped only for a moment.
The performance hasn’t ended. It’s the intermission.
In fact, as we wait for the curtain to rise again (just as the King will rise) so that the story can continue, there are critical points leading up to the climax of Jesus’ death that are revealed in the Bible .
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog as I disclose five critical lessons Jesus taught as He approached His death on the cross, each inspired by my time with the Holy Spirit.
Enjoy your Good Friday, beloved.
“This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
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