Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday, is truly good, and yet...

This week in our community night at YWAM Orlando I reflected on the cross and what it means to us as believers in Christ.  I looked at the torturous and prolonged way of execution that the cross was in the time of Jesus.  To bring this home I showed a short film clip from the movie, To End All Wars, which was based on a true story of Scottish prisoners during World War II.  The scene is quite moving because a Major Campbell was going to be executed, but another man, Dusty, offers to take his place.  To the shock and dismay of all the prison camp commander decided to literally crucify Dusty.

In Mark 10 Jesus tells His disciples that He was going to Jerusalem and would be tortured and killed. (Mark 10:32-34 NKJV)  It was clear that He knew what was going to happen and yet He continued to travel toward Jerusalem.  But, on the night before His crucifixion He seemed to have some very real human doubts during His time of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane during which He said, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42 NASB) None of us have ever faced a cross in a literal sense, and yet I can clearly identify with the humanity of Jesus in this moment.  I have been absolutely certain that God has led us to take on the purchase and renovation of this large campus for YWAM Orlando and yet in times of great stress and weakness I have had similar conversations with the Lord. 

When I consider the price Jesus paid for our freedom I am astounded.  He was totally committed, there was no turning back.  Even in the midst of the torturous agony He says; “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34 NKJV)  What an amazing expression of love.  When I think of what Jesus did that day almost 2000 years ago I find a greater challenge in these words; “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23 NASB)  Simultaneously, I find a greater sweetness in this statement, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)

We ended the evening in a sweet, but very sober, time of  communion, recommitting ourselves to the Lordship of Christ.  Today is Good Friday, it truly is good, and yet the memory of why it is good is simultaneously painful and lovely.  As I conclude this writing my heart is brimming over with gratitude and love for the One who loves me most!

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