Good Friday

Looking around on Good Friday, I want to see myself here.

Here in this ancient story.

Here in these words I’ve heard since before I was born.

Growing up in church, it’s easy to let this story, these words slide right on by

Assuming that we’ve heard it all before.

But though the story is old,

The Spirit is here, always here.

Breathing new life.

Speaking powerful truth still.

If we will pay attention.

Tonight I lock eyes with the thief on the cross.

And I see my story here too.

It’s a familiarity my younger self would have denied.

But not tonight.

My penalty is just, fair.

I’m getting what I deserve.

And right beside me, suffering the same penalty,

God wrapped in flesh.

Not deity identifying with humanity in some theoretical sense.

But a real, living, breathing God-man looking into my eyes.

Suffering with me.

Speaking words of life even as his breathing becomes heavy, his pain unbearable.

We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses

No. Our high priest suffers with us.

He feels our pain because he is here.

And he promises redemption.

Not in some far-off, theoretical sense.

But now.

Today.

This is my story too.

A church-baby, never much of a rebel in any outward sense.

A pastor’s kid, living life in a fishbowl.

Some people say (to my face) that I don’t need much saving.

They are dead wrong.

When we lock eyes, I know without a doubt my desperate need for a Savior.

My desperate need to be spared what I deserve.

My heart-cry for redemption

Not in some far-off, theoretical sense.

But now.

Today.

I look into the eyes of the One speaking life even here.

Even in the darkest moments.

And I fall again on grace.

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