Yesterday I found myself wishing it was Friday. Thursday just wasn't quite good enough. Too much to do. Too many obligations. Too much to worry and be anxious about. And then when I woke up this morning, I found myself ready for it to be Friday at 2:00 pm so that I can hop on I-70 eastbound and head to the K for my first ballgame of the season.
It was only after hopping on social media and scrolling through peoples' posts and checking notifications that I realized what kind of Friday it is.
The day that the only perfect man who has ever existed willingly had the tender skin ripped off his back by pieces of fractured bone tied to leather. Then he willingly dragged hundreds of pounds of splintered wood on that torn-up back up a staggering hill to his own death. That death was the slowest and most painful kind, where this sweet man Jesus had his arms stretched out and nailed to both sides of that cross. His feet nailed, too. And eventually he was too weak to lift his body up by those nails, so he suffocated to death.
Before he died, he experienced what was even more brutal than death itself. That perfect man Jesus - God's own boy - he willingly took on the wrath of God. He was completely separated from his Father's presence. He felt the oppressive weight of being abandoned. He was alone. Scorned. Mocked. Forgotten.
And think about it - Maundy Thursday, he was sold by one of his closest friends. Over to the people who wanted to kill him for no good reason at all. You could say that these were the most painful two days in human history.
Maundy Thursday, and then Good Friday.
How could this day possibly be called "good"?
Do you know what the sweetest man Jesus was thinking on that Friday?
Your name. Your face. Your story. He could not stand the thought of being separated from you for eternity. He could not imagine you having to experience the anger of God. So he did all of this with a completely willing heart, and he called it good.
Can we all let that sink in today? Can we sacrifice ten or twenty minutes to just consider this? Honestly, friends, how could we continue to live our lives as though everything is normal in light of this astounding truth? I squirm to think about living as though this did not happen, as though Jesus' perfect, excruciating sacrifice does not matter that much. As if it was just another Friday. It makes me sick to think that I live neglectful of this outrageous act of love. I am frustrated at this moment because I cannot put it into words.
"The spotless Lamb, for every sinner slain. Our victory, our hope beyond the grave. He has overcome."
Why do I continue to search for perfect love when it exists nowhere else? When the ultimate display of outrageous, obsessive, unreserved, unrestrained, wild, totally complete and uninhibited love has been written on the stones of history for me to remember and dwell on and bask in every. single. day. if I so choose.
I am convinced that if the Friday when the perfect man was ripped to shreds and hung from a tree can be called "good," that any other day, any other circumstance, any other pain - no matter how excruciating - can also be good. Romans 8:28 would back me up.
So let the truth of what this Friday means fill all the caverns of your heart. Don't numbly walk through this Easter weekend. Stop worrying about the things his promises cover. And let yourself be loved by the pain and sacrifice of Jesus.
"If [God] gave you Jesus, he will give you along with him everything you need." -Paul David Tripp