Did You Read Melody's Post??? {EasterSeries}

The Saddest Day in History

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.


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