Today is "Good Friday" on the calender. What does that mean? Sometimes we complicate things so much that no one has a clue, or simplify them into meaninglessness. I appreciate how a certain Children's Bible beautifully simplifies the entire story of God and his children, God's rescue plan, and points it all back to Jesus, the beginning and the end.
As I reflect on the cross, God's incredible rescue plan, and His great mercy this morning...I wondered what I could write here. I decided that instead of coming up with poignant words to write, I would share with you what I read to my children today.
Jesus story book Bible pg. 36,
You see, sin had come into God's perfect world. And it would never leave. God's children would be always running away from him and hiding in the dark. Their hearts would break now, and never work properly again. In another story, it would all be over and that would have been..
But not in this story.
God loved his children to much to let the story end there. Even though he knew he would suffer, God had a plan - a magnificent dream. One day, he would get his children back. One day he would make the world their perfect home again. and one day, he would wipe away every tear from their eyes.
You see, no matter what, in spite of everything, God would love his children
- with a Never Stopping, Never Giving up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever love.
And although they would forget him, and run from him, deep in their hearts, God's children would miss him always, and long for him - lost children yearning for their home.....
..... One day God himself would come.
(Jesus Story Book Bible, pg 304, The Sun Stops Shining)
"They nailed Jesus to the cross.....
"you say you've come to rescue us!" people shouted " But you can't even rescue yourself!"
But they were wrong. Jesus could have rescued himself. A legion of angels would have flown to his side - if he'd called.
....Actually, he could have just said a word and made it all stop. Like when he healed that little girl. And stilled the storm. And fed 5,000 people.
But Jesus stayed.
You see they didn't understand. It wasn't the nails that kept Jesus there. It was love....
...."The earth trembled and quaked. The great mountains shook. Rocks split in two. Until it seemed that the whole world would break. That creation itself would tear apart.
The full force of the storm of God's fierce anger at sin was coming down. On his own son. Instead of his people. It was the only way God could destroy sin, and not destroy his children whose hearts were filled with sin.
The Jesus shouted out in a loud voice,
"It is finished!"
And it was.
He had done it.
Jesus had rescued the whole world.
"Father!" Jesus cried. "I give you my life." and with a great sigh he let himself die.
Strange clouds and shadows filled the sky. Purple, orange, black. Like a bruise.
Jesus friends gently carried Jesus. They laid Jesus in a new tomb carved out of rock.
How could Jesus die? What had gone wrong? What did it mean? They didn't know anything anymore.
Except they did know their hearts were breaking.
"That's the end of Jesus", the Leaders said.
But , just to be sure, they sent strong soldiers to guard the tomb. They hauled a huge stone in front of the door to the tomb. So that no one could get in. Or out.
*to be continued *
(a song from "The Story" sung from the perspective of the thief on the cross. The man who hung next to Jesus)