It’s Good Friday, the day we remember Jesus’ death on a Roman cross. Why did it happen? Let’s make it personal. What is the darkest, ugliest part of your life, some choice you made, something you did, an attitude that hangs on? What memory brings regret, is buried so deeply you hope no one else remembers it? God sees it, knows about it. That is why Jesus went to the Cross!
Oh yes, much of sin is much more ordinary than the moments just recalled. When we are Self-willed, when we worship something or someone other than God, when we choose to ignore or dislike another person, when we refuse to love – we sin, too. But, those things are so common in our experience we come to accept them as normal. But, that is why Jesus went to the Cross, too! That is the UGLY.
Now the beautiful – there is an invitation offered to you, to me. Here it is – “Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20-6:1) The Holy One calls us close, despite the filthiness. How can that be? Because the Son of God became a sin offering for us so that we could become beautifully whole and holy.
Do not make the tragic mistake of many; minimizing your sin by comparison, excusing your behavior with rationalization. Most likely you have not brutally murdered anyone but have you assassinated another’s reputation with malice? You have not worshiped an idol god, but have you loved your money with a fervor like religious devotion? Getting the picture yet?
Isaiah does not spare the graphic description of our state without God’s grace. “We continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:5-6, NIV) Even our best choices are compared to dirty, greasy rags!
And yet, God loved us. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” (Romans 5:8-9, NIV) That’s why Jesus went to the Cross!
Today, an ugly, beautiful day, let those thoughts weigh heavily on you. Jesus once asked a self-righteous man who loves most. The man was deeply offended that Jesus would allow a prostitute to touch Him, to bath His feet with her tears of gratitude and worship because of the release from shame He gave. But the Lord reminded the man that his own sense of well-being kept him from knowing God’s love. “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” (Luke 7:47, NLT)
Spend some time with the ugly. I did! But, I looked past that to the beautiful – my sins carried by a Savior, my relationship to the Father secured by His willingness to become sin for me.
Ah, yes, this is Good Friday!
(worship at this link)
One day when heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men my example is He
The Word became flesh
And the light shined among us
His glory revealed
Living He loved me dying He saved me
Buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
O glorious day (glorious day)
One day they led Him up Calv’ry’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish despised and rejected
Bearing our sins my Redeemer is He
The hand that healed nations
Stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me
One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose over death He had conquered
Now is ascended my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him
The grave could not keep Him
From rising again
One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day my beloved one bringing
My Savior Jesus is mine
O glorious day glorious day
O glorious day
John Wilbur Chapman | Mark Hall | Michael Bleecker © 2009 My Refuge Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Be Essential Songs (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC) Word Music, LLC (Admin. by WB Music Corp.) CCLI License # 810055
Pastor Jerry Scott- FAITH DISCOVERY CHURCH- www.FaithDiscovery.com