108: Beautiful Things

 

You Make Beautiful Things, You Make Beautiful Things Out of The Dust. –Gungor

Today is Good Friday.

Today is the day that we celebrate the fact that the Son of God made the ultimate sacrifice for us by not only giving up his life, but for taking the sins of the world; past, present, and future, shouldering the full wrath of his Father despite the sinless life he led.

Many people have been saying that Good Friday is nothing without Resurrection Sunday.

And yes, the miracle that is our salvation lies in the fact that Jesus proved once and for all, that He was who He claimed to be, by being raised to life on the third day.

But Good Friday is about a lot more than just Jesus dying. Up until recently, I have thought that the “ultimate sacrifice” was just Jesus’ physical death.

I mean, that was plenty for me. I still haven’t seen “The Passion of the Christ” because I just heard about how graphic it was. The crucifixion part of the story has always been hard for me to handle. So I have always felt that Jesus enduring that physical pain was a great sacrifice.

But then I heard someone explain to me the difference between Jesus laying down his life and all that entailed, and all of the other apostles who died martyr’s deaths. Some of them went singing. One of them requested to be crucified upside down because he felt he wasn’t worthy to die the same way Jesus did. One was boiled alive.

Jesus sweat blood, and begged God for a way out. Does that make the apostles, who were just human men, braver than Jesus—who was the Son of God?

So why was it such a big deal for Jesus?

Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday definitely go hand in hand. They both played a part in God’s great redemption story for us.

But I don’t know if I like saying that Good Friday is “nothing…” I get what people are trying to do, but it almost sounds dismissive.

The reason why Jesus was sweating blood, and in such anguish over completing his mission on Earth (that kind of made him sound like a spy…”mission”) was because He, the one who knew no separation from the Father, who had the closest of relationships with Him, relying on Him in every part of His life, was about to feel his wrath. Wrath that He didn’t deserve. Wrath that weighed more than we could ever imagine.

And He would be separated from Him. I don’t know if the 100% human part of Jesus could really fathom what being separated from his Father would feel like, being that He had been one with Him for eternity, in the mystery that is the Trinity. I would have probably freaked out too.

Plus the fact that He felt the guilt and shame of every sin committed by every person….ever. 

EVER.

Just marinate in that for a minute.

I never liked getting in trouble. I still really don’t like feeling like I’ve done something wrong. Once, I got silent lunch in middle school, because a girl next to me was talking, and the teacher thought it was both of us, and I couldn’t argue with her.

I cried….real tears, because I had to shamefully sit by myself at lunchtime, silently, not able to talk to my friends for something that I didn’t even do.

And that was just thirty minutes.

I literally cannot wrap my mind around taking the punishment of every sin of every person, ever, in the history of the world. I can’t.

But with that I say, God is good. This is a Good Friday indeed, because He did it for me, Jillana Corynn Jones, who is plagued with middle child syndrome, has a broken mouth filter, wears her emotions on her face, and has a bad chocolate chip cookie habit.

Jillana, who could be nicer to her family, have a better attitude at work some days, who’s lied, cheated, and probably stolen. Who’s been jealous, who’s been prideful, who can’t keep her mouth shut to save her life sometimes.

He did it for me. And He would do it again if He had to.

Good Friday is good all by itself. I will celebrate the miracle that is Resurrection Sunday, because it is EVERYTHING that Jesus did not stay in that grave, but I’ll admit, I need to sit with Good Friday for a little while longer.

One of my favorite Dara Maclean songs is “Nothin’ You Won’t Do,” because there’s this line in it where she says,

And if I was the only one, here on the planet

You would still send Your Son, cause You couldn’t stand it

To see me anywhere but next to You

Ain’t Nothin’ that You won’t do. 

If I was the only one here, ever, there would still be a celebration in Heaven on this day because I would have been reconciled with my Creator, thanks to the wonder that is Jesus.

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