Today I woke up thankful. I rolled over and realized what today is, and immediately I was grateful to be alive. It doesn't always work like that for me. But today, I was ever so thankful.
Today is Good Friday. On this day some 2,000 ish years ago, a young man named Jesus died. Jesus. The Lamb of God. Our savior. Our redeemer. The account of his death in John can be read in a matter of just a few minutes. And sometimes, I think we do that. We read it, but we just read right through it and the words don't permeate. They don't sink in. I certainly know I do that. Maybe we're just trying to get it done, to say we read it. We did our "duty", and now we can move on. Perhaps we're a little afraid that if we really focus on it, it will make it more real. It will mean that our Lord did indeed die for us. For me. For you. And that is just too much to bear. So we won't think about that.
But friends, he did die for us. For me. For you.
I sat here reading through the account of his crucifixion and the words struck out at me as though each word were individually emphasized. Words like crown of thorns. Crown of thorns. I've heard this said my whole life. I know that they put a crown of thorns on Jesus' head. But I don't think I realize that they put a crown of thorns on Jesus' head.
They literally took branches covered in thorns and wove and twisted them together, and then placed them on his head. And they didn't gently sit upon his head, as we imagine a crown sits upon the head of a king, but they slammed it into his head, breaking the skin and bringing forth blood. Christ's blood.
I kept reading and more words stuck out to me. Like bearing his own cross. This man. This savior, this image of God, walked down a dirt paved road with a crown of thorns jammed into his head. He had been beaten. He was bleeding and weak. And he carried his cross. Eventually He fell under the weight of it because it was so heavy. But he carried it. His instrument of death. It's like walking to the brick wall carrying the guns you know the firing squad is going to aim at you. I can't imagine.
Strong words.Blood and water. Blood. Christ's blood. The blood that saves us all. It runs down the cross and over our sin tainted selves, and it cleans us. He loved us so much that he let them nail him to that cross because he knew the cost. It was to be blood. His blood. It was the only thing that he could redeem us with. The ultimate sacrifice. The gift of life, given by his life.
And then those final words scream at me, pulsing in scarlet from the tear stained pages of my Bible. It is finished. Christ's last words before he gave up the ghost. I think these perhaps were the sweetest words that ever crossed his lips. It is finished. His work was done. He had done what he came to do. Our salvation was now in place, and his pain and his suffering were finally over. At the time, the words did not seem sweet to those around him. They didn't understand. They thought he was gone for good, and that it was truly over. But oh how sweet those words are to my ears. It is finished.
It is finished.
I sit here trying to write about this awful, terrible, wonderful day, and I know that my words are nothing in the grand scheme of things. They do not do justice to the sacrifice that God made for us that day, allowing his son to die. I imagine him sitting there in Heaven on his throne, angels perched at the edge of heaven, waiting to hear the slightest whisper from Christ's lips. Waiting to hear him call them. I imagine you could cut the tension with a knife. I imagine you could have heard a pin drop. I imagine God's heart breaking as he watched his only child, his son, be beaten, tormented, ridiculed, humiliated, abused, and murdered. I imagine him sitting there, torn in two, giving the life of one son to save the lives of the rest of us. His children. Thinking about that tears me open. I can not bear the thought.
And so I sit here in my bed, some 2000 years later, a mediocre Christian on my best days. And God knew that. He knew I would struggle. He knew I would be unfaithful. He knew that I would, at times, stray far from him. He knew that I would deliberately sin, breaking his law, and denying his love. But that didn't matter to him. He let his son, his Jesus, die for me. And I have nothing to offer in return. Nothing but a half dead sacrifice that keeps crawling off the altar. And yet, he let him die anyhow.
That is Love.
Love that I don't deserve. Love that I can't begin to comprehend how to reciprocate. But love it is. Pure, holy, unconditional LOVE.
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.