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Friday, April 22, 2011

Today is "Good Friday," a day that is really only good because of the end result of what happened.  It certainly wasn't good that a perfect man was killed.  It wasn't good that it was because of my sins. And it wasn't good that His death was agonizing. 

Some say "Good" really stands for "Holy". Some say it was good because it lead to Sunday and the Resurrection.  Actually, it seems English is the only language where today is called "Good Friday."  Other languages refer to today as "Holy Friday," "Great Friday," "Long Friday" or "Sad Friday." 

Whatever you call today, it is a day to acknowledge for several reasons.  First, as much as I would like to just skip over the unpleasant details of what Christ suffered ... as much as I would like to jump to Sunday and start celebrating ...  Jesus asks me to suffer with Him awhile. 

On the night of His betrayal, Jesus asked Peter, James and John to watch and wait for Him while He prayed.  During the time when our Lord was “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” His closest friends couldn’t keep awake.  Three times Jesus returned to find them sleeping. 

In Philippians, Paul said, "I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death"  (Phil 3:10)

To truly appreciate Sunday we have to experience Friday.  So take some time today to consider the suffering Christ went through.

I've wondered a lot why Christ's death had to be so painful.  I know He was fulfilling prophesies, but why didn't He just go through the motions and have His Heavenly Father remove the pain? 

This morning as I was consider my devotion from Wednesday and all the comments about experiencing "death" here on earth, this thought struck me upside the head:

Jesus didn't have to experience the depth of suffering He did ... but He chose to. He willingly walked through the ugliness of humanity, the worst type of betrayal, the indignity of being falsely accused and the excruciating pain of the crucifixion, and so much more.  He chose to experience every one of those things on purpose.

 He chose to so that when you think your heart is about to be ripped from your body in grief - you'd know He understands. 

And when sadness has overwhelmed you to the point of tears and exhaustion - you'd know He understands.

And when you despair over the choices of someone you love ... you'd know He understands.

And when you feel betrayal of the deepest, most intimate kind ... you'd know He understands.

And when your body is betraying you with sickness, disease or injury ... you'd know He understand.

We have a Savior who  willingly experienced horrific grief and suffering so that we could never say "Jesus wouldn't understand."  This "Good Friday" I'm choosing to remember.  I'm choosing to not skip over the agony my Jesus suffered.  And in doing so, I can already feel the gratitude welling up in me. 

And that is a good thing.


Thank you to everyone who posted a comment on Wednesday or Thursday.  I've prayed for each of you.  Sadly I only have one gift pack to give away.  I wish I had 44.  I'm happy to announce that Grace has won the gift pack.  I'll send you an email. But if it doesn't come through, please email me at editor@proverbs31.org.


connecting with the soul said...

Wow, there have been times I had wondered while in the mist of heart break pain and betrayal if anyone really knew what I was going through? And if they did why didn't they step up and stand beside me- what I didn't know at that time someone had - Jesus did and he was carrying me every step of the way. Thank you for this reminder.

J.Noelle said...

Glynnis, what a beautiful and inspiring post! Thank you so much for reminding us all that He understands... I am very blessed and encouraged by your words today. I even find myself more encouraged to embrace the Fridays of my life more, so that the rejoicing on the Sundays are that much sweeter! Blessings to you and yours this glorious season!

Anonymous said...

Glynnis, I am always excited to read the message God has given you to share with all of us.For a lot of us the Proverbs 31 ministries is a sort of a lifeline, it is nice to know there is a safe place to share and to be encouraged by other women without judgment.When I first saw your picture I knew your page would be added to my favorites.You have a light about you and your eyes speak care and humbleness.So, thank you for all that you do for others!I loved this post,I remember being a new christian and coming across Phil. 3:10 and I knew in my heart I was supposed to pray it and mean it!I wanted too;well,I got it.My suffering is leading to a degree in counseling for whatever God wants me to be.Who knows ?Yesterday a man was honking at me in front of a store and I could not move lest I run over pedestrians.I just motioned that I could not move to him because of all the others passing by and when I could move,I did.He drove by gave me double middle finger gestures and said"here's to you sweetheart"!I just looked in that man's eyes and saw so much pain and confusion I yelled "God bless you"!I got a revelation on that one-when you are in the will of God you are last ,it is normally uncomforatable,and people cannot stand your kindness.All the people though deserve a chance to pass by to see what is living in you though,JESUS! I was mad the other day at an unbeliever and the grief they were giving me God showed me by the feeding of my animals that all deserve him.I have three indoor animals,jesus,(with the spanish accent)rainbow ,and scout.Jesus was sick and I was giving him medicine in some leftovers and as he greedily ate it all up the other two just stared at me wondering were theirs was.That took me to the story of the lady that told Jesus that even the dog's (gentiles)want the scraps that fall from the masters table.I wish you all could have seen the handing out of leftovers to each of them and them being so appreciative of what they got.They did not get "the best" but they got what I had in store for them.Jesus recognized and appreciated her faith.Well, I guess it all comes down to faith.By our faith in Jesus all is possible. I am happy you put the one about suffering up.Not many realize that we suffer as he did,not all at one time though,I think it is spread through a life time.I just have to remember at my most desperate hours that God is for me and who could be against me,that I have not cried tears of blood,and that the situation will pass when God is ready for it to.Life is hard and what Jesus did for us can give us hope.Thank you again for sharing with us your honest heart.God bless and Happy Easter!

Catherine said...

I have always had a hard time with the name of Good Friday, I know and understand why all these things happened and the joy of Easter day!
I LOVE that other names for it Holy Friday,or Great Friday, that I can handle.
Thank you, for me it will now be called Holy Friday... because to me it is such a deep thoughtful day.It is HOLY. Praise God!!

mat said...

One truth from the Bible is that the Lord Loves us even more when were are going thru tough human times and even better our Lord is strenghtening us and preparing us for something even greater.

mat said...

One truth about the bible is that our Lord will never abandon us even when we are going thru tough times our Lord is preparing us for something even better.