“Wether you’re a Christian or not, today [Good Friday] is about Spring, pastel colors, love and peace.”
Sorry radio guy, not true. It’s Jesus. Alone.
The miraculous birth of Christ has been diluted to Santa, commercialism, traditions, and maybe mentioning Jesus in a carol or two during “holiday music”.
The glorious resurrection of Christ has been diminished to a Bunny, hidden eggs, and stale marshmallow chicks, the name Jesus is almost forbidden in these “Spring” celebrations.
But until this morning I thought Good Friday still stood alone. Untainted. Holy. Set apart. A solemn day for us to remember – to remember Christ.
Jesus, the Christ. The Song of the Living God. The Messiah. The Redeemer.
It is Jesus, and only Jesus, who provides atonement for our sin against God.
But we don’t want to think about that. The need for atonement. The need for forgiveness. That we are infected and made unclean by our sin. That by our chosing the things of the world (darkness) above God (light), over and over and over again has separated us from God. How even our best works are considered dirty menstrual rags. How our sin, our iniquity, like the wind, sweeps us away.
We don’t want to think that we are like sheep without a Shepard, that we are dumb animals who left to ourselves would starve, or follow each other off a cliff. That we have chosen to go astray.
We don’t want to think of the great cost that was paid to reconcile us to God. That Jesus was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our sins. And that God laid upon him the guilt of us all. That God’s wrath was satisfied in Jesus. The wrath meant for me. Satisfied in Jesus.
But what is even harder for me to accept is that this depravity, my wickedness, is covered, eclipsed by love. By a perfect love. Unfailing love. Strong powerful love.
Don’t just skim over these thruths. Let them sink in. Again, for the first time.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
That for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
That’s what makes this Friday scandalously Good. Not “spring, pastel colors, love and peace.” It’s Christ – and Christ Alone.