Words really can’t express what’s going on in my heart today. Joy, gratefulness, sadness, hope–those are kind of obvious. Today, though, I feel this weight, too. A weight I can’t explain quite yet. But I’ll try.
Good Friday was the day when Jesus was mocked, mistreated, and murdered. He was beaten, abused, spat on, and abandoned by most of His friends. This is the day when all of our shame was put on Jesus.
The reason this day bears so much weight is because it’s the day when a lot of us can relate to Jesus. Often times we separate ourselves from Him because He is a lot of things we are not. He is victorious, He is Holy, He is above all things, He is fully God, and He is fully man. He is different than us. I want to be clear that I believe we have victory in all things, and that we are called to be holy. Jesus is always those things, though, and we get those things because of the sacrifice He made on this day. The difference is He is those things, and we receive those things.
Because of that difference, I think we can sometimes find Jesus unrelatable, distant from our circumstances, or unsympathetic. The truth is most of us have been mistreated, disregarded, and abandoned by someone we love in a deep time of need. A lot of us have been abused, whether it be physically, emotionally, sexually, or mentally. Too many of us have felt the same shame, brokeness, and loss that Jesus felt on this day. If there is no other day in all of eternity when we can relate to what Jesus felt, I believe today we can. Today, we sit in very similar places.
This truth, however, is no coincidence in the events of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. He died this kind of death on purpose. He wants to relate to us, He wants to be close to us, and He wants to make us whole. Jesus has been tempted in every way possible, so He can sympathize with us (Hebrews 4:15). He understands our struggle, our hurt, and our deepest pain. He lived it, and because He lived it, He can comfort us.
So my challenge for all of us is this. Today, as we remember the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, let’s remember our own hurt, shame, and fear. Don’t rush past it. Don’t ignore it. Don’t forget that it happened. It matters. And it matters for a lot of reasons. Today, though we need to remember our hurt so we can acknowledge that we have such a loving savior–one who would experience this hurt and shame just to get close to us. Just to relate to us. The sacrifice He made, and His death, is enough to move my heart to follow Him. He died a painful death to save me from hell. Yeah. That is a big deal. But the knowledge of the way He died–just to comfort me, just to sit in the circumstances I have sat in–that’s a big deal, too. He did it not just to save me, but to be close to me. Not only is He close to me, but because He undersands my broken places, He knows how to make them whole. That was the whole point of this day. To be close enough to me to make me whole.
Well, I really just don’t have words to explain what that does to me.
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
-Isaiah 53:5 ESV-
I am made whole because He is close, and because of that, I will keep living in reckless pursuit of my Holy and Intimate God.
I also wrote a few posts a long time ago on Jesus in the garden and what it taught me. You can check them out here.