Daily Proverbial, from 1 John, 29 March 2013. Good Friday

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  1 John 3, verse 16.

I usually write these words the day before I publish them; at the very least, I usually begin them the night before, then edit or finish them the next day.   So, when I wrote today’s entry yesterday, I wrote it based on watching Christ die.  What I wrote imagined standing there, in front of the cross, watching Him die.   After all, today is Good Friday and that’s an appropriate thing to contemplate on this day.  This morning, a different thought came to mind.

Thank God for Good Friday.

Thank God that He, as God and as a man, laid down His life for us.   It’s not just the whole portion of Him doing something we couldn’t do, or even the idea of God humbling Himself enough to die.  Those are undeniably crucial.   Instead, thank God for Good Friday because, without it, there could be no Easter.   Not so long before, Jesus said that ‘greater love has no man that he would lay down his life for his friends.’   On Good Friday, He did it. 

Without His death, there could be no turning-death-on-its-head moment that was the resurrection.   Without His death, Christmas would have no meaning and no love.   Without His death, Jesus would have been just another wise teacher able to do magic tricks.  Without the death of Christ, humanity would have no focus because what followed the death of Jesus Christ was the central event in all of human history.   Without the death of Christ reason would have no meaning because the foundation of reason is the love of God, and without the death of Christ, the love of God would have been nothing more than holy vengeance.

And without the death of Jesus, we would have no way to know what real heroism is.  A hero is willing to commit everything for others.   Heroes put it all on the line.  Jesus was the ultimate hero.  Fully God and fully man at all times, fully in control of His Spirit, He absorbed more pain and anguish than you or I ever thought possible and did it with nothing to gain for Himself.   He chose it; He knew the stakes and He knew the consequences, and He chose it anyway.   Heroic.

The pre-edited version of this entry began with a few words from Jim Morrison:  “This is the end.  My only friend, the end.”  Those are appropriate words for today.  Instead of them being a poem about meaningless endings, they’re a finish to God’s time on earth.  Yet, in a way, they’re inappropriate as well because today isn’t the end.   It’s the beginning.   The eternity that follows started today.   Thank God for Good Friday.

Lord, thank God for how You loved us.   Thank you for your once for all sacrifice.   Without You, life would be death.

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