Finding the good in Good Friday

Every year it happens.

I cry on Good Friday.

Now, for those who know me, they already know that crying is not an unusual thing for me.  But Good Friday…it’s a different kind of crying.

Good Friday overwhelms me. Every year, as I contemplate what this day means, I am overcome by the depth of mercy and love that God has poured out. For me.

Broken as I am, sin-sick, twisted and torn, I am still loved. I am still made holy through a beautiful, horrible sacrifice of undeserved, abundant love.

Today is the day we remember. Rather than minimize it, as we often do, today is the day we look fully into the agony, the suffering, the pain, and the death of Jesus. Today is the day when we see just how much God loves us when we realized just how much He went through.

My Savior suffered. He was betrayed by one of His twelve closest companions.  He was abandoned by the rest. He endured shame. He knew rejection. He was spit upon, stripped of His clothing, beaten, humiliated, tied down to a pillar, whipped. His blood ran. Mocking Him, soldiers made Him a crown. The thorns ripped the Holy skin of my Savior. They led Him like an animal in front of the crowd, and the crowd turned on Him.

This same crowd that shouted “Hosanna!” a few days prior now screamed “Crucify!”

My Savior carried His heavy cross through the streets of the town, bent down low beneath it’s weight. Exhausted. Weakened. Nailed upon that cross, raised up for the crowds to come and jeer at Him, left to die a criminals death.

My sins nailed Him there.

I am overwhelmed.

And then…

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“Father, forgive them….”

Even in His agony, in the shadow of death, Christ extends mercy. Forgiveness. Love.

And He did all this willingly, took the weight of my sins, of humanity’s sins, upon His shoulders, offering Himself as a holy, spotless sacrifice for the redemption of the world.

It wrecks me that my God loves me so much that He would endure that. For me. For all of us. For every person who has ever lived or will ever be, God poured out His love on the cross that day and we are washed clean.

I don’t deserve such mercy. I don’t deserve such grace. And yet….

Forgiven.  Redeemed. Bought by the precious blood of the Lamb. The Lamb who triumphs over death with His resurrection. The Savior who brings hope into a broken world. The One who defeated the enemy and gives us a seat at the banquet table of the Father.

I am overwhelmed.