For a Good Friday meditation, read The Sacrifice by George Herbert after the jump. It presents the Crucifixion from the point of view of Christ Himself. A repeated pattern in the stanzas is a contrast between how we treat Him and how He treats us. It’s on the long side, but you’ll be glad you read it. [Read more…]
Have a blessed Good Friday, everybody, and a joyous Easter. Towards that end, I give you two remarkable texts from God’s Word, which detail how Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, is OUR death, burial, and resurrection, and how each of us was and is intimately involved in His Cross and in His empty tomb. From Colossians 2:
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. [Read more…]
Baptism is what connects you to Good Friday and to Easter. If you have been baptized, Christ’s death is your death, and Christ’s resurrection is your resurrection. So says the Bible in words that I don’t understand how non-believers in baptism can get around:
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6:3-5)
On this Good Friday I urge you to read and to meditate upon that astonishing prophecy of Christ’s Passion and His redemptive work in Isaiah 53. In doing so, consider these words:
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
We are familiar with the notion that Christ on the Cross bore our transgressions and our iniquities, though we can never plumb the depths of that truth. But we don’t hear much about how He also bore our “griefs” and our “sorrows.” What does that mean, and what difference does that make in our lives?
This year Good Friday falls on April 22, which is also the new environmentalist holiday of Earth Day. (It is also “89ers’ Day,” the anniversary of the Oklahoma Land Run in 1889, as all of my fellow Oklahomans should know.) Some churches, usually of the more liberal persuasion, are trying to honor Good Friday and Earth Day together, recommending ecological gestures to honor Christ and suggesting that Christ died for the Earth.
He did die for the world. And the whole creation suffered from the Fall and is in travail until the coming of Christ. So can we make legitimate connections?