"How Deep The Father's Love For Us,
How Vast Beyond All Measure,
That He Should Give His Only Son,
To Make a Wretch His Treasure"
This year I've been reflecting a lot on the importance of Good Friday. It struck me as I was listening to that song—God was willing to pay the very highest price to make us, to make me, His treasure.
It's so easy to let this moment, this day of reflection pass too quickly, we go from celebrating the triumphant entry of Jesus in Jerusalem to celebrating Jesus the risen Lord, but the moment that happens in between is one of the most significant in the Easter story.
"Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that is it is finished"
It's so easy to think of Good Friday as this picturesque moment with the cross silhouetted on a sunset sky. But how often do we stop and reflect about why Jesus needed to die in the first place. The moment on the cross was not about a power play, it wasn't about showing off. It was about sacrifice, the greatest sacrifice.
Jesus, God in human form, was willing to set aside His life, to suffer and die. And it was my sin that held him there, my sin on his shoulders, it was my debt he paid. Think about that:
God was willing to die in my place.
Could there ever be more telling words than that? God was willing to die in my place. He knew that I would be imperfect, stubborn, independent. That I would try to do life on my own, that I would continually try to throw mere pennies at this mountain of sin that I've created. He knew that I would constantly fail and have to come running back. But that didn't matter, He still died in my place.
Sunday is a day for celebrating God who is risen. But, today is a day that I will sit and revel in the pain, the gravity of what God has done for me, today I will meditate on what God has done on my behalf. Today I will cry, I will mourn because I know that without this great sacrifice, I would still be a slave.
This moment is the unresolved chord at the end of the song, God prolongs the silence, he relishes in the tension, he pauses. In this moment, we remember the price that God paid, what he sacrificed to save us. God paid the ransom for our sin with one perfect, costly act.
It is finished, but this is not the end.