Today is Good Friday. Good for us. Very good for us. Immensely so. Bad for Jesus Christ. Very bad for Him. Unfathomably so.
The Son of Man, our Lord and Savior, is remembered today for taking upon Himself what we all deserved, your sins, my sins and everyone else’s from the beginning of our existence through the end of all days. That’s a lot of people! That’s an unimaginable amount of sin, an unfathomable amount of weight for any man to carry upon himself. Yet, one man did. He, the only innocent Man to have ever walked this earth did just that. And it was at that same moment that He was separated from His Heavenly Father. He truly bore the weight of possibly trillions+ of people’s sins entirely by Himself and paid the penalty we rightly should have paid!
Can you imagine this for a moment with me?
Before Jesus took on the cross, before He discipled His apostles, before He was born of a virgin, and yes, even before time, He said YES! Yes, I will do this! Yes, I will leave My Father’s side. I will leave My seat in the heavenly realms. I will humble Myself and set My divinity aside. I will be born in the most humble of circumstances, without riches, fame, or status. I will live as a mere mortal. I will show through My life how to live, how to love God & to love others by becoming the least of these. I will show that true greatness comes through true humility.
Then, I will be abandoned by all My disciples. Yes, I will suffer at a Roman scourging, and have a crown of thorns smashed into My skull. Then, YES, I will do what no one else can. I will take upon Myself the sins of every single man, woman and child to have ever been born & those yet to be born. All of it! Nothing left unaccounted for; nothing unpaid.
And YES, as unthinkable as this may seem, I will be separated from My Father.
Be silent in your thoughts for a moment here. Consider this.
God the Father and Jesus have never, ever in all eternity, NEVER been separated from each other before. Jesus and God were always “I Am”. Even when Christ came to earth, though He put His divinity aside for our sake, He still walked closely with His Father, God.
He did not shout “Anarchy!” when He was betrayed in the garden, or take up arms to resist those coming to arrest Him. He did not make any reply to His accusers. He did not cry out when He was being beaten and whipped, spit upon and mocked. He did not speak a word when the crown of thorns were smashed into His head, when He carried the cross, and no, even when the nails were being hammered into His wrists and feet, He did not cry out. Instead, He spoke words of love over those that were killing Him. “Father, forgive them! They know not what they do.” What strength! What utter and remarkable love Christ displayed while being nailed to the cross.
No crying out, no shouts of being avenged for being wrongly accused, beaten and publicly murdered. Only, “Forgive them…” and “I thirst.”
It was only when His Heavenly Father left His presence. It was then that Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Like the pain of all He suffered before this moment wasn’t enough?
Yet, if I understand this correctly, all previous suffering was nothing in comparison to being separated from the Father. What passion! What unspeakable anguish He must have suffered at the loss of communion with His Father. So much so…
Father! Father! Why have You left My side? Why did You abandon Me?
Jesus knew why. It was a rhetorical question. He knew why from the very beginning, when the decision was made for Him, the Son of God, to become the Redemption for us all. We all know the reason why – because God is a Holy God and cannot be in the presence of sin.
This leaves me a thought.
Why, knowing He would suffer beyond comprehension, would Jesus put Himself through all of that? Are we really worth all the searing loss and anguish the God-Man took upon Himself?
Yes, Jesus says, over and over and over again. Yes! Yes! Yes!
What remarkable and unrelenting love He has for you and me! In my mind I am not worth saving. I am Barabbas. But Jesus says, “Yes you are. You are worth saving! You are highly valued! You are my precious child, dearly loved. And if it had been only you, I still would have died. Because I love you. I treasure you. And I desire great things for your life. So,”Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul”.
God wants us to rest in Him. We don’t have to DO anything FOR God. He doesn’t need us… but HE WANTS US. That’s what makes today so remarkable!
He wants us to have a relationship with Him. He wants us to fellowship with Him. So much so, that He suffered and died so we could come before the very throne of our Creator and stand in the very presence of the Lover of our souls. Feel His loving arms surrounding you. Hear His gentle voice speaking words of love, grace and hope over you. Respond in like.
Written by Nick Campagna,
Submission Published by Rhonda J. Campagna, Penscripting Grace