Holy Week/Resurrection Weekend. They get me. I’m pretty sure I cry more in these seven days than I do in the entire year (okay, that’s an exaggeration because I’m a very emotional person, but you get my point). They completely wreck me and they leave me undone in the best way possible.
Yesterday my church held a Good Friday service. Instead of being a typical hour long service with a message and worship, it was a come-and-go as you please as you go around to different stations and reflect on different aspects of what happened on Calvary so many years ago.
It wrecked me.
I sat on the floor at one station for the longest time. It was a painting of Jesus, and there was a note that said “look Jesus in the eyes and ask what he feels.”
I cried. A lot.
It reminded me of the humanity that Jesus existed in. He was fully human when he died, so he felt the full physical and emotional pain of the cross. The cross was gruesome. I cannot fathom the pain. But the emotional pain, y’all. He had been abandoned by his closest friends. He had been given over to die by one of his disciples. Those that he came to save were begging for him to be hung on the cross. We all know what it feels like to be stabbed in the back by a friend. But Jesus experienced the ultimate betrayal.
And if we had been there, if we had been in that crowd, we would have been yelling “crucify him!” right alongside them.
After visiting all the different stations, I came back to the picture of Jesus. I sat down and journaled. I wrote, “Sunday is coming and you have won, but this day is heavy. It is a celebration, but I did this to you. You died because of me.”
Jesus immediate replied,
“No, daughter, I died FOR you.”
Oh my Jesus!!!!!
My Jesus reminded me that there is no guilt in the cross, and to cloak what happened on Calvary in our own guilt is to take away what Jesus did.
The cross is about what HE did for US, not what WE did to HIM.
To twist it any other way is to exalt ourselves higher than our Lord and to pretend that we have that much power. We don’t. We didn’t have any control over Good Friday. That was planned and orchestrated all along by God. We have no responsibility in what happened. To think that we did is to give ourselves power that belongs to God. We aren’t that mighty.
Doesn’t that just take a weight off your shoulders?
I’ve been feeling that guilt this Lenten season. I’ve been feeling dirty and unworthy of my Jesus. I’ve labeled my mess bigger than the cross. In all honesty, I’ve been feeling more grief in the cross than joy. Because when I’ve looked at the cross, I’ve been seeing what I did, not what Jesus did.
I’ve been looking at the cross and seeing my sins, not his forgiveness.
Oh, but that’s not what it is.
I’m thankful for the humbling nature of the cross.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that Jesus was put on the cross because of us. I don’t deny that it is my sins that put him there. But he chose to be there. My sins were not a bondage that held him there. He could have saved us another way. He could have had a legion of angels come rescue him from the pain of the cross. But he stayed. Because he wanted to show the crowd (and every other human to exist for the rest of eternity) that his love for them was so much greater. The cross was radical declaration of love that was literally the laying down of his life for us. He could have chosen another way. Yet he decided to completely give himself away to show us how much we are worth to him. He died so that we could live. THAT is love.
Oh the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.
We’re almost to Sunday. We’re almost to the resurrection. We’re almost there.
But he’s in the waiting.
Saturday was dark. Saturday was painful and lonely for his followers. Their first full day without their Savior.
But we can exist in the Saturday in hope because we know that SUNDAY IS COMING.
Today I am thankful that we can rejoice in resurrection life while we wait for Sunday to come.
How much that reflects my everyday life. I feel like I’m in a season where I’ve experienced the pain, but I haven’t yet experienced the glory and resurrection. I’m in a season of waiting between the two. I’m living in the Saturday. It’s frustrating and it can be really dark and lonely, but I can have hope in the Sunday that is going to come.
Hallelujah for how the resurrection is reflected into our normal, everyday lives!!
Crying at my Jesus and the beauty of his resurrection and the selfless, recklessness of his love.
Amen, amen, amen.
Thank you for pouring our your love. Thank you for reminding me that their is no guilt in the cross. Thank you for the hope in the waiting for Sunday.
I can’t say it enough.