good friday

I LOVE this weekend of the year. Eggs filled with candy, spring time (unless you live in Kansas – still looks like winter), almost everyone goes to church, people dress their best and might actually sport a smile at church, Easter brunch, great music…ah, I just love it.

But today, before I celebrate His resurrection on Sunday, I want to pause and remember the price He paid on the cross for me over 2,000 years ago. Reading the Crucifixion story, there’s always one verse that rocks me like a punch to the stomach.

Matthew 27:45-46 46From noon to three, the whole earth was dark. Around mid-afternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

Yes, He endured the betrayal and desertion from His closest friends. Yes, he endured the public humiliation and mocking. He even suffered through the brutal flogging and carried His own wooden cross for some time. His wrist and feet were pierced with nails. He was battling suffocation with every second that crawled by, lunging skyward, reaching for each breath while tearing the nails further through His feet.

But, I know the physical pain wasn’t the worst thing He had to go through. It was this stretch of hours – from noon to three, when the whole earth went dark. Jesus Christ, the perfect, sinless lamb of God, had taken upon Himself ALL the sin of the world. Every past sin I’ve ever committed and every sin I will ever commit. What an enormous weight. Scholars believe that the earth went dark because God, in all His holiness, could not look upon His son, who was carrying the sin of the world. So God turned His back. The emotional pain Christ endured was far greater than anything the Romans could do to His body. Because, at that moment, He was utterly…alone. His family had forsaken Him. His friends had left Him. And now God turned His back. Can you imagine the depth of His sorrow?

This has obviously been a lonely time in my life as I’ve not only lost a friend who was my husband, but also his family which I was very close with. One day they were a part of my life – a mother-in-law, a sister-in-law, a grandma; and then they were gone. Yet, it is so encouraging to know that I have a Savior who understands and who endured far greater loneliness than I have or will ever face. Hebrews 4:15 describes it best, “We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin.”

It’s difficult to wrap my mind around all He did for me that day, but…What a Savior.

I invited one of my co-workers along with his wife to church this Sunday, and he said yes! I am like little-girl excited. They do not go to church, so this is a big deal! Maybe God put me in this position for this reason…

I’ll be singing on Sunday with my girl, Leslie! Dress Rehearsal is tonight. Can you tell how excited I am? I LOVE Easter. Now, if only Dad would decide to buy me a new Easter outfit…

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