Good Friday is a day of mixed emotions. N.T. Wright states:
“You could tell the story a thousand different ways, and they’d all be true. Jesus’ followers quickly came to tell it in such a way as to bring out what Jesus himself had been trying to say all along, and what Matthew has been trying to tell us through out his gospel. This is the event through which Jesus became king. King of the Jews, King of the world.”
Christ died not as an earthly king to lord it over us; but as a Heavenly King; to serve His chosen people. He chose to be obedient to His Father and to be The Savior of His creation. Through His trials, He did not deny who He was; but defied expectations of how he should behave. In his death, he repaired the divisions between God and man. He brings us back into a relationship with God, which is eternal life.
God is about relationship. The mystery of the trinity is a relationship bound in love and service. His nature is love; which is the truest relationship. Love cannot be touched or tested; but its existence can’t be denied. Love is powerful; but needs to be experienced to be known. We have to be in relationship with God to know Him. Relationship with God, the creator of love, fills us with His power to reach out in relationships; to be disciplined, to persevere, and to sacrifice.
Christ as our mentor, Lord, and King, showed us through his trial and death how to be disciplined, and persevere. He sacrificed His life for us. “ How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? ” Hebrews 2:3. It was this verse that first called me to faith in Christ. On Good Friday I remember the different people who mocked, flogged, and washed their hands of Jesus; and I confess that I have been guilty through my life of the same sins. God in His gracious power chose to give up His son for me. How foolish I feel for not surrendering the things I love. As Doug mentioned last Sunday, sometimes we grasp too tightly to people and situations that are already in His control. The Holy Spirit has been disciplining me to let go.
The joy I have in Him now is that I have experienced the truth Christ spoke in Matthew 11:29. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. He has done our work on the cross. When we repent and approach His throne of grace; He forgives and grants us peace. Christ rules in relationship, service and love. I grow when I am in relationship with Him and in His Word. May we continue to grow in Him. It is Good Friday for He is our loving King.