Approach Good Friday with an Open Heart
By contemplating the harshness of the cross and Jesus' suffering, we recognize the glory of Easter Sunday.
When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified. Matthew 27:31 (NLT)
I love the thought of fresh starts and living free because of all Jesus did on the cross. (Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!) It is easy for me to skim right over the Good Friday part of Easter because it is so very bloody and traumatic. I can’t stand the thought of His suffering, the evil of those who set their hearts against Him and the weeping of a mother seeing her son die.
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I want the glory of Sunday morning and the angels and everything being set to rights. I want to get to the part where the stone is rolled away and the excitement of the empty tomb. The part where the disciples are incredulous when Jesus walks through locked doors and shows up asking for dinner. The truth is that there is no glorious “Christ is risen” without the preamble of “Christ has died”.
It is the awfulness of Good Friday that makes Easter so good. It is in His facing and conquering of death that we can see a way out of our own mess. He didn’t do it just so it would make a good Bible story. He died so we can get a chance at living the life He designed us for. Of being infused with His Spirit and being more than we ever thought we could be. He died because He loved us. Period.
And how do we, broken people that we are, respond to all that good strong loving? We can stand hearts open, not sidestepping Good Friday but acknowledging the severity of the cross and say, “I know what you did for me and I am thankful.” And I am just that. Thankful.
Faith step: Draw a picture of a cross in your journal. Write “Jesus loves me” across the center. Spend some time meditating about all Christ went through to save you and thank Him for it.
This devotion is excerpted from Mornings with Jesus 2013.