Also, we are going to begin posting EVERY DAY!!!The Schedule will be as follows:Mission MondaysFeatured TuesdaysWordless WednesdaysFeatured ThursdaysFascinating FridaysThank you so much for following us; make sure to let your friends know about the new blog location and schedule!Happy Easter!THE TOMB COULD NOT HOLD HIM!
No scene in sacred history ever gladdens the soul like the scene on Calvary.
Nowhere does the soul find such consolation as on that very spot where misery reigned,
where woe triumphed, where agony reached its climax."
[C. H. Spurgeon]
Agony indeed reached its climax on the day that our Lord died. The hope of generations, the promised One, the Messiah was hanging on a tree of shame. The hope of humankind seemed lost to those who had followed Him and were now witnessing His end. I grew up in a tradition that tended to gloss over the despair of this day, focusing instead on the triumphant entry of Palm Sunday and moving straight into the victory of the Resurrection at Easter. The cross was identified and celebrated throughout the year, but no special time was given on Good Friday to fully consider the weight of its implications. The gospel of Matthew records that Jesus’ soul was “…overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”(Matt. 26:38) during the hours leading up to the crucifixion. It is in the observance and consideration of the events of Good Friday that we are reminded that Jesus came not only to save, but in order to do so, had to suffer on our behalf.
He Shared in Our Suffering
Isaiah describes Jesus as a “man of sorrows” and indeed the gospel accounts are full of examples of His grief and suffering. However, during the hours leading up to and during his death, Christ endured such immeasurable sorrow that our humble consideration can only appreciate it in part. Beginning at midnight as Jesus went into the garden to pray, Good Friday was the twenty four hour period in which Christ met with indescribable suffering on our behalf. He suffered, teaching us how to respond to our own suffering. During the time in the garden, we see the Savior go first to the Lord in isolation with the Father. We witness how isolating and depressing suffering can be. Jesus was alone in His suffering and openly grieved, asking for another way. In the public square, we see Christ deal humbly and submissively to His accusers. He neither defends His reputation, nor does He lash out in violence against them. On the cross, we see the Savior continuing to serve others: He takes time to consider His mother and the thief even in His greatest agony. There are many other lessons to receive in the careful observance of Christ’s suffering. In our times of suffering we can look to the example He set for us and be comforted that our high priest knew our grief. On Good Friday, we can find comfort that Christ shared in our suffering and therefore respond by sharing in the grief of others.
He Bore Our Sins
Not only did He bear our sorrows, but Isaiah states that He was crushed for our sins. Our punishment was piled on Jesus at the cross and the weight of it was described to have a crushing effect. The anticipation of the burden of bearing the weight of our sins caused the Savior twice to seek another way to reach reconciliation with man. He ultimately submitted to the Father’s will and faced the cross and the sins of man. The Father had to forsake the Son as He cried out to Him from the cross. Peter said that He bore our sins in His body, why? He bore our sins on that tree so that we would die to sin, so that we could be reconciled to the Father. When we consider the cross and the weight of our sin resting upon Him who knew no sin, we have a responsibility to respond. Our response to the cross is one of obedience, a death to the fulfillment of self and sin. The cross reminds us that with Christ we have died, we have died to sin and are born in righteousness. Continuing to sin, Hebrews says, profanes the blood of the Covenant. On Good Friday, we remember the weight of sin that brings death and commit to live in the righteousness Christ won for us.
Hope That Sunday is Coming
For those who accompanied Jesus in His time on earth, this Friday seemed anything but good. The hope they had in Christ’s ministry on earth had ended. They couldn’t see that His ministry would continue on this earth through them. We, however, have the benefit of seeing Good Friday through the lens of the Resurrection. Good Friday becomes a celebration to those who know the rest of the story. By reflecting on the suffering of Christ, we are reminded of His great sacrifice and are compelled to respond. We can also look to the promise of His resurrection to keep hope in a broken and sinful world. Good Friday helps us to recall that amidst the agonies of this life, there is great hope that the final victory is coming. That is good news! Not only should we look to this future for our own benefit, but we should share this hope with those who are suffering all around us. On Good Friday, we can share the good news that there is hope for this life and a new life to come!
Melody Powell lives in Clinton, NC, with her husband Nelson and five year old daughter Lily. She currently is pursuing an MA in Women’s Studies and hopes to minister to foster children who are transitioning into adult life out of the system. She attends The Vine Fellowship, a church plant, where she serves children and the women of the church, and assists in leading worship.
How to Not Die of Loneliness During the Holidays When You Can’t Go Home
Sometimes the hardest part of the holidays is the fact that you live eight hours away from family and can’t afford to go home.
I didn’t quite know how much I’d struggle my first year away from Florida. Sure, I had lived away from home during college, a whole one hour and forty-five minutes away, but moving to Wake Forest was my first time living in a different state than my family and childhood friends for an extended amount of time. Through my time here, God has shown me more than I ever expected (or, at times, wanted!). Here’s a few ways I’ve learned to enjoy different kinds of holiday seasons through my fair share of moping, crying, and making do. Maybe you’ll start to see the fun and adventure constrained circumstances can actually afford during the holidays!
1. Build a Community Where You Are
Make new friends. When my parents and I first unloaded a U-Haul of furniture, clothes, books, and whatever else I deemed necessary to life here in Wake Forest, I knew absolutely no one. No contacts. No friends. Nada. So I know how awkwardand exhausting it can be to make new friends in a place where you have zero history. I felt like I couldn’t be frustrated or have a bad day. New people wouldn’t know that I wasn’t being normal Lindsey, but grouchy Lindsey, or really, really, tired Lindsey, or hangry (so hungry you angry!) Lindsey. What if people thought that’s how I acted all the time?
The crazy thing that I had to learn is that if you want a history with someone, be it a friend or mentor or church, you have to build it. Andbuilding a history takes timeand effort, so don’t give up or expect too much too soon.Pray that God would provide a solid, biblical church where you fit in—you’ll need people from all walks of life beside you—and other women to walk alongside. Then go out and make friends. Go to your church’s events. Talk to people. Invite them to coffee or over for a movie. And most importantly, learn to listen. Ask others about themselves and be genuinely interested in what they have to say.
If you want to be here, really be here, then you have to build a community. Otherwise, all you’ll do is think about home, call friends every chance you get, and be so lonely here you won’t want to stay.
P.S.—Trust me, it gets easier.You’ll make friends, good friends you wouldn’t trade for anything. You’ll grow (more than you thought possible), and you’ll see God provide for you in ways you didn’t know you’d need.
Invite others in.Once you have your people, your new friends, always continue inviting others in.
I know, you might get jealous or worry maybe your friend will like them and ditch you—you get all, you know, defense-mode. I’ve had other girls act that way towards me when I was apparently getting too close to their friend, and I’ve acted that way before, too. But don’t be like that. Not only does it make you look both immature and insecure, it also doesn’t reflect the biblical picture of community we see in scripture.
Be hospitable—genuinely welcome others into your life.
(And, no, this does not mean you have to be BFFs with every person out there. But you do need to be friendly and show them the same love that has been shown to you.)
2. Start Your Own Traditions
Decorate! Maybe this is obvious, but if you’re not going home for a holiday or only get to go home for a few days, decorate your apartment! Hit the Goodwill or local thrift shops around town and find a few decorations to help your apartment feel festive. Make your little home warm and inviting, even if only for yourself and roommates. Y’all know Pinterest has all sorts of fun, inexpensive ideas to decorate: don’t just pin ‘em, make ‘em! And if you have extras you don’t want or won’t use, pass them on to others.
Celebrate! You’re in a new place with new people—how exciting! Start your own new traditions! This could either mean incorporating your family’s traditions, like a favorite movie while cooking together or decorating with your new friends (while also letting them introduce you to their special family traditions), or it could mean starting something completely new altogether. Google local events going on in the area, and then go explore! Find a swanky little coffee shop you’ve never been to and enjoy a cup of Pumpkin Latte or Peppermint Mocha together. Have a picnic of cocoa and treats in the park. The possibilities here are just about as endless as your own creativity. Get out and do something!
3. Keep Perspective
As amazing and unbelievable as this might seem, whatever your life looks like this holiday season, well, it probably won’t look the same come this time next year. Maybe you or a friend will move to another city or a different apartment. Maybe you’ll get married or have a baby. Or maybe you (or your husband) will graduate and find ministry work elsewhere. You never know what this upcoming year might hold. So don’t take what you have here, right now, for granted. As Trace Adkins once sang, “You’re gonna miss this”: the ridiculously small apartment, the even smaller budget, and the community of other seminarians (just as poor and cramped as you!) just trying to be faithful and prepare well while living their lives together one ordinary day at a time. You only get so many Easters, Thanksgivings and Christmases here—don’t waste a single one! Your God is sovereign and aware of where you are. Be where He has you, even if it’s not where He’s going to keep you.
Lindsey Pope is a 2011 graduate of the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and is currently pursuing her M.Div in Christian Ministry. At the age of sixteen, she was called into Christian ministry; that same year she met two women, one in her twenties and the other in her forties, both pursuing their M.Divs. It was then that she first started dreaming of seminary.
Women's Life is excited to announce a new and improved blog!
Starting Monday, April 21, the old blog on blogger will be shut down and all posts will be posted on
Also, we are going to begin posting EVERY DAY!!! The schedule will be as follows:Mission MondaysFeatured TuesdaysWordless WednesdaysFeatured ThursdaysFascinating FridaysThank you so much for following us; make sure to let your friends know about the new blog location and schedule!
Happy Easter Break!