words of {good} friday

Fear. Real fear tore as his heart. His friends, they were sleeping as sweat and blood poured down his face.

Pain. The pain of being forgotten. The pain of being betrayed. It all seemed to consume him. Yet in his desperation, as he cried out to his Father, he was given strength. Strength to carry on. To walk the blood-stained path. To carry not only his own pain but the pain of the whole world.

Betrayal. A kiss that sealed his fate. He was led away with only one man giving any kind of fight. The same man who would deny even knowing him three times that night.

Alone. He felt so alone. His heart torn in two. The pain of the beatings was excruciating. The pain of the thorns numbed him. Yet nothing could compare to the pain in his heart as his people cried out for him to be killed.

Yet, it was those same people who cried for his death, those same people who beat him, the same who jeered at him; it was those people who were the reason he had to die.
He wanted to give up. He wanted to walk away. Wash his hands of the whole thing as Pilot did. Yet something held him there.

Love. Love for me. Love for you. Love for each and every person in this world. His perfect love for us would not let him turn. He stood there and endured the pain on his body and the pain in his heart for a world filled with filthy sinners.

Nails. As he was nailed to the cross his mind tortured him. What if it wouldn’t work? What if he was wrong? He knew the answers.  By my stripes they are healed. Still, the “what ifs” tore at his mind.

He was lifted up and it became difficult to breath. He looked out on the people standing below him. How he loved each one of them.  He had formed each one with his own hands. And if the soldiers had refused to nail him to that cross, he would have nailed himself to it. His love was that strong. He had to save his people.

Hope. The man on his right cried out. “Remember me!” With great difficulty he spoke the words that made his spirit soar. “Today you will be with me in paradise.” It was already happening. People were seeing the love. Redemption was near.

Death. The pain. It seemed to consume him. Each breath tore at his lungs. The Enemy laughed in his ear. Sin crawled at him. Horror filled him. Hell was near. Finally his voice shaking he cried out and gave up his spirit.

Separation. In that moment the curtain in the temple; the very curtain that separated the people from the Holy of Holies, the place where the Lord’s presence was, the place only the high priest could go, on a certain day, with certain things: was torn in two. From top to bottom. God reached down and took away the one thing that keeps us separated from him: sin.

Free. Now it was left in our hands. Would we step across the line that no longer bore a curtain? Would we accept the gift that he laid before us? Would we cast aside our slavery for freedom?

Me. I crossed that line. It was the day that God tore the curtain in my heart. The day I recognized that his death breathed life into me. The day I accepted Him. No more separation. The curtain was torn. And the sun came out.

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