Apparently it takes a momentous event such as a Good Friday weekend to stir me out of my blogging slumber. I had no intention to write, but was particularly moved this morning by the significance of this weekend. This significance transcends the 4-day respite we have from work, the sub-par mass production of hot-cross buns, and even the extra time we get to ourselves. This weekend concerns Christ and the cross alone. It is only under the banner of the message of Easter that you will find complete, wholesome and pure joy, life, and hope. And yet, this weekend begins with the antithesis of all of the above- it begins with death.
For on this day, our God Himself, creator of the universe, my life and yours, heaved the cross upon Himself and walked the lonesome path up the hill of Calvary. Faced not only by the ridicule of the very ones whom He came to save, He received the punishment for the evil He never committed. He made payment for debt He did not owe; for slander that never entered His mouth. As I reflect upon the portrait of my Saviour who came to die, I do not find the waffly, hyped-up, romanticized love that the world is so accustomed to throwing around. I do not see my Saviour gallantly riding a horse up the hill to shed His life for us. I do not see my Lord boasting about how he has come to serve and save. I see the acute, intense love of my God as He cried out for forgiveness of those who drove the nails into His hands. ‘Father, forgive them! For they do not know what they are doing.’ Indeed, they had no idea. I see the serious, foreboding love that translated into the giving up of life for the sake of those He came to save.
The love of my Saviour transcends the feel-good, self-esteem-boosting idea of love and acceptance that we are used to today. It involved torture, pain and ultimately death. It involved selflessness, sacrifice and the wrath of a Holy, Righteous God. In fact, I cannot see how someone could sing of the love of Jesus Christ without remembering the cross that demonstrated it, and the sin (our sin) that held Jesus there. If we are asking God to show us more of Himself, to give us more blessings, or if we are only remembering the cross on this Easter weekend, I wonder if we recognize the all-sufficiency of the cross in redeeming us into an eternal relationship with the Holy God who created us. In fact, I wonder if what we desire for is the eternal relationship with this God. Do we see God’s worth, faithfulness and goodness by what He has blessed us with? Or, alternatively, do we see it through the prism of the cross? The death of His Son to atone for our wrong-doings is the greatest blessing, and the most perfect demonstration of God’s love.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
Don’t let the cross be a token demonstration of your faith. Rather, let it under-gird everything that you do. Let your decision to serve, honour and love God be propelled by His love as demonstrated on the cross. Let your daily walk with God be infused with the remembrance of Jesus Christ, who lived and died, and ultimately rose again. Don’t think that you can ‘graduate’ from knowing what Jesus did on the cross. It should be this very nugget that spurs you on in your faith. Let your life be based upon the character of Jesus Christ as demonstrated on the cross.
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. – Galatians 6:14
Boast in nothing but the cross. Not in wealth, nor riches, nor personality, nor worldly achievements. All we have is Christ. All we need to know about God is demonstrated and accomplished in Christ, and for that reason alone I can confidently bid you a blessed Good Friday.