This is a bit of a departure from my usual humorous and off-the wall ramblings. This is an entirely different station along the railroad that my Train of Thought travels upon. Take from it what you will, it's just my thoughts on a very important weekend in my life.
I remember years ago in middle school youth group watching the Tony Campolo video, "It's Friday, but Sunday's comin'." At the time, I didn't grasp what he was talking about. I enjoyed the video and Tony is a dynamic speaker, but I didn't really get the meaning of it.
Today, on Good Friday, I can't stop thinking about those 5 words, "It's Friday, but Sunday's comin'." It's ironic that today being Good Friday that I'm having a crummy day, but then I remembered that Sunday's coming, and am overwhelmed by the promise that holds.
When I got out to my friend Robbie's house on Tuesday to go riding, I found a pamphlet tucked into her gate. It was from the Jehovah's Witnesses and it proclaimed, "Jesus gave his life for many." I looked at it, and then showed it to Robbie and asked her, "What's wrong with this statement?" She looked at it and said, "Not many, He gave His life for ALL." I said, "My thoughts exactly!"
One of my favorite songs that brings me such comfort is "How Deep the Father's Love for Us." I think of it even more often around Easter. I can't even imagine how deep His love for us is that he would send His only son to die such a horrific death to save someone as unworthy as me.
I have tried to comprehend what that crucifixion was like, but usually my brain shuts down as a protective measure because I can't begin to understand it all and the more I try, the more it starts to make me physically sick. Think of how much most people hate getting shots. That's one tiny little needle poking into you. Now try to imagine HUGE spikes being driven through your body pinning you to a rough wooden beam. I remember how much it hurt when I broke my wrist, a tiny little greenstick fracture; then I try to think of how much it would hurt to have your entire body broken.
It's easy to say that you would gladly endure anything for someone you loved. For someone who loved you. What would you be willing to endure for someone who hated you? For someone who scorned you, for someone who betrayed you? This is the part where my heart starts to hurt and my brain starts to shut down again because I can't fathom it.
Jesus died to save everyone who ever has and ever will live on this earth. There is no one who is untouched by the greatness of that sacrifice. He was willing to die to save those who may never accept Him. He was willing to save those who kill other people, who abuse their families, who hurt children. And when I stop and think about that I always think, "How could He love them?" and the horribly humbling answer that I receive is, "I love you."
People always seem to use the same example. Ted Bundy. How could God forgive Ted Bundy? My good friend Lynette gave me probably the most profound answer I've ever heard. "I don't know, but if He forgave Ted Bundy, then I look forward to praising God with him in Heaven."
I'm not sure whether to be comforted or horrifed by the fact that in God's eyes I'm no better and no worse than a serial killer, but I'm going to choose comfort.
The reason I'm so thankful that Jesus gave His life for ALL and not just many is because if it were just for "many" I have no way of knowing if He'd choose me. He might look at my life and say, "Give me one good reason that I should forgive you? Have you really lived your life in such a way that deserves it?" And of course the answer to that is "no." There is nothing I could ever do to repay that amazing sacrifice. That is the very definition of "Grace." "Unwarranted undeserved love that we can never repay." Those are the words of my Great Uncle, Boardman Reed. He's a retired Episcopalian priest, and these are the words he spoke at my rehearsal dinner when asked what the secret to a long and happy marriage is. He said that the secret to marriage, the secret to life, the secret to everything is Grace! And that it's not just something you say before a meal.
So as you go through these next few days, remember that its Friday!! But Sunday's a comin! And if you don't feel the way I do, if you don't believe the things I believe, I'm still thankful that Jesus was willing to die for all of us so that we have the chance to live our lives the way we want and to believe what we want to believe.