Friday, April 22, 2011

Six Hours One Friday

As I have mentioned before, Max Lucado is one of my favorite authors.  The imagery in his books is amazing.  It makes you feel like you are there; the sights, the sounds, the emotions.  As I contemplate what Good Friday means, I want to share an excerpt from "Six Hours One Friday," by Lucado. 

"Six hours, one Friday.
To the casual observer the six hours are mundane.  A shepherd with his sheep, a housewife with her thoughts, a doctor with his patients.  But to the handful of awestruck witnesses, the most maddening of miracles is occurring.
God is on a cross.  The creator of the universe is being executed.

Spit and blood are caked to his cheeks, and his lips are cracked and swollen. Thorns rip his scalp. His lungs scream with pain. His legs knot with cramps. Taut nerves threaten to snap as pain twangs her morbid melody. Yet, death is not ready. And there is no one to save him, for he is sacrificing himself.

It is no normal six hours…it is no normal Friday.
Far worse than the breaking of his body is the shredding of his heart. 
His own countrymen clamored for his death. 
His own disciple planted the kiss of betrayal.
His own friends ran for cover.
And now his own father is beginning to turn his back on him, leaving him alone.

A witness could not help but ask: Jesus, do you give no thought to saving yourself? What keeps you there? What holds you to the cross? Nails don’t hold gods to trees. What makes you stay?"

Those six hours were excruciating for him.  Jesus was physically and emotionally exhausted, giving all of himself for us.  He died for you.  He died for me.  He died because we needed saving.  Jesus hung on that cross in my place.  I deserve to hang there, not him.  He was sinless, I sin every day.  Jesus died because of his unconditional, indescribable love for us.  As the song "Who Am I" says, "not because of who I am, but because of what You've done.  Not because of what I've done, but because of Who You are."  Only by his mercy and grace am I saved.  Today my heart has been heavy.  I've thought so much about the sacrifice, the pain, that horrible death he faced.  The good news is that because of his love and the sacrifice he made, I will spend eternity with him. 

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