Good Friday, April 18, 2014

Morning Psalm: 22 | Evening Psalms: 40, 54
Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-33 | 1 Peter 1:10-20 | John 13:36-38
 
The Weight of Redemption
 
The scene is shrouded in the silence of grief: Jesus is taken down from the cross and His body is prepared for burial. And thus we, the Resurrection People, sit in mourning. It is essential that we mourn: we must not rush forward to the Resurrection, for without the piercing, throbbing grief of the Cross, there is no Resurrection--indeed, no redemption. But if we are to mourn, we must understand why.
 
Why did John pause over this moment, giving its details so much attention? He asks us to pause, too. It is done: our Lord has uttered His last cry, and now we face the wrenching reality of His lifeless body. We do not turn away, hide our faces until the Resurrection--we anoint his body for burial. Resurrection will come, but not before we mourn.
 
The mourner of Israel reminds us that we cannot see salvation without first accepting the bitterness of our sin and sickness, not running from its full consequences (cf. Lam 3:26-33). And around this reality turns the mystery of Good Friday: before us, in the lifeless Body of our Lord, lies both the consequence and the cure for our sin. Here our grief leads to redemption: the bitter dregs we are asked to drink as a result of our sin is nothing more--or less--than the death of Love Himself for us. He says with His people:
 
“In dark places He has made me dwell,
Like those who have long been dead” (Lam 3:6).
 
Here we grieve and are redeemed: and we find that the two are inseparable. In Him, quite literally, we now cleave to the dust that we may live (cf. Lam 3:28-32). This is a solemn joy.
 
When Saturday ends, Resurrection will come. But today we know the weight of our Redemption, as we anoint Him with mourning.
 
Jesus, our hope and life, today as we sit in grief, teach us the weight of our redemption. Give us grace, our Lord, to wait in silence for the Resurrection, and teach us the value of embracing Your death as our own. And on the morning of the Resurrection, raise our souls up with You to victorious life. Amen.
 
Noelle Huling
MAR Student
Pine Mountain, GA

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