Reflection on Good Friday

29 03 2013

Today is “Good Friday” and I began the day pondering how one should spend a day with such a name. How do you appropriately commemorate the day the Son of God paid the ultimate price for all of humankind?

I know that in countries where Roman Catholicism prevails that the faithful re-enact the torturous experience of the Savior by carrying crosses through the streets. Some of the more devout even undergo literal crucifixion. I do not doubt the sincerity of such asceticism, but in my mind I am not at all sure Jesus would ask us to repeat his suffering as a way of showing devotion.

So how would Jesus want me to remember Him on Good Friday? If, nearly 2,000 years ago, as the Son of God spent those hours of abuse and execution,…if He projected into the future to today, how would He hope to be honored by all of His followers? How would He want me to spend the day? Here is what comes to mind.

Today I should be deeply grateful for what Jesus did for me, however feebly I understand the depth of it. Rather than moping around the house with a dire countenance, rather than denying myself of food as a way of identifying with His suffering, I think my best commemoration of His cross is a heart of genuine thanksgiving. I want to remove the clutter of personal concerns, those worries that often vie for my emotional energy, and dwell instead in the lush meadow of His salvation. I want to bask in the provision of eternal life which He won for me by paying with His lifeblood my eternal penalty of condemnation. Because He hung on the cross, I don’t have to. It is finished, the work is done. Glory be to God, in Christ His Son!

Today should also be a day of kindness to others. Jesus made it clear that love was the bottom-line priority of His kingdom. Love was His motive in coming to earth, and the reason He submitted to the cross. What better way to honor Him on Good Friday than to show His love to others. I want to focus today on being a loving husband and dad. I want my neighbors to be glad I moved onto their street. I want my pastor to be encouraged that we joined the church. And I want my teammates to reflect joyfully that we are serving the Lord together. I want my mother to be glad she got me as a son, and for my dad to nod over at his Father in heaven as if to say, “That’s my boy.”

One other thought emerges. I think Jesus would want me to reflect on the blessed life I enjoy. I am surrounded by so many people who also enjoy a favored lifestyle it would be easy for me to assume this is what I have coming to me. I am blessed to live in America, to have a nice home to live in and a good car to drive. Jesus didn’t live in such a time or place. He knew personal hardship and sought out people in villages and cities who found themselves on the outside of privilege wishing they could get in. Today I want to honor Jesus by reflecting on the goodness of God in my life, refusing to take it for granted. I want to live simply, to give away things I don’t need or even use. I want to accentuate my awareness of those around the world today who live in poverty, who hurt physically or emotionally, and who live in spiritual darkness, unaware that a righteous Man died so as to redeem them from slavery to sin.

This is the man I want to be for Jesus today.

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