Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

Daily Gratitude Year 5- Day 104: Today, I am grateful for Good Friday.

I've decided that a person could spend a lifetime contemplating the wonders of Jesus and his sacrifice on what we call Good Friday. The prophecies of the Messiah from Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 alone are more than enough "coincidence" to convince this girl that God unwrapped a plan long in place through His son, Jesus, the Messiah. But there are so many more in His Word.

"A company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— I can count all my bones - they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. "-Psalm 22:16-18

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.Isaiah 53:10

Everyone must choose for themselves the answer when He asks "Who do you say that I am?" Everyone must choose to live for him... or outside of him. Everyone must choose to embrace the grace... or spit in his face. 

Do we stand in defiance or kneel asking for forgiveness and restoration? He does not restore those who ignore the gift, the sacrifice and the power of the resurrection. He grants new life to those who believe, submit and receive. A simple plan with life changing power.

Believe it... or not? A Choice. Receive it or not? Again, a choice.
He died for all, but all must choose for themselves. 

In Isaiah 53:10 - the Hebrew word is "asham". It is a guilt or offense that condemns us before a holy and righteous God. The sin offering takes away the guilt by becoming the guilt offering. The asham offering is sacrificed to redeem the guilty. In English - it closely resembles the word "ashamed". He took our guilt and shame on that fateful, grateful Friday. 

"For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." -Romans 8:3-4

He knelt before the Father and asked to be spared. The answer was "no". Jesus knew he could have called a crew of angels to rescue him, but he chose to be the offering. He chose to remain true to the path before him. Jesus chose the Via Dolorosa - the road of suffering- that lead to an emancipation proclamation that believers would no longer be owned and bound to our sins. He would set us free. 

Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in "The Passion of Christ", applied to be a Navy seal three times. Three times, he was rejected. He wanted to be apart of something honorable, and knew there is no greater love than to protect and lay down one's life for another. Jim - three times- offered himself to be chosen... three times he was rejected.

God had another plan for Jim... a bigger role. The role of Jesus nearly killed him. But, he had submitted to a sovereign God, that if he died before it was over, that would be fine, if the gospel message would be more clear. 

From the very beginning... the Lord of Heaven and Earth wanted to be "with us", "for us" and in a relationship. He wanted us to love him by choice... not by nature, as did all other created things. He gave us souls. Free will left us free wheeling and enamoured with our own image in the mirror, all we could create and figure out own our own. Remember... we were created "in His image". Science suggests we have not begun to maximize brain usage. 

God must smile at all we have discovered and explored. Yet, he must grieve that we take all the credit for discovery.  Here is a passage that has become a favorite of mine:

And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”  He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out. And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it,” -Luke 19:39-41

Nature cannot help but record and sing praise to the creator. Nature devoutly keeps his laws, but then submits to his hand when he raises it to perform a miracle. The rocks record so much history. Does it confound him all that we have ignored regarding his hand in the mix? True belief changes us. Knowledge is not belief. The demons know who Jesus is and shudder in fear at his name. 

If we believe in angels... can we ignore their evil counterparts? I don't like to think about them, but that doesn't make them non-existent. Carmen's "Sunday's on the Way" is one of my all time favorite Easter songs. It used to be contemporary... but now, it is old 80's stuff. Still, it is good. 

We have a Sunday on the way! He is our victory and our peace.

"For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility." -Ephesians 2:14

God has done what the law could not do! He stepped out of the heavens, into the realm of this  soul-bearing humanity he created. He lived with us, understood what it meant to be human, took on the guilt sacrifice and died once...for all. Laying down his life in submission to the Father... and in place of his brothers and sisters. He became the guilt offering, breaking us free of sins chains. 

Today, I am grateful for Good Friday... his asham offering, mercy, grace and a mission completed. Sunday's on the way. 

No comments:

Post a Comment