The thing about Jesus is He always turns the world upside down. In establishing His kingdom, He came as a helpless baby, not a leader. To a world that wanted impressive shows of power he brought humility and vulnerability. To followers who wanted to climb the religious ladder, He told them the only way up was down. And he washed their feet just to make sure they got the picture.
And then to a mob of angry, lost souls to whom he could have brought swift defeat, he allowed defeat instead to swallow Him up on a cross. No one knew what to think. Was He really who He claimed to be? How could God be killed? His enemies celebrated that Friday. The rebel from Nazareth causing the people to move from law to love, from sickness to wholeness, from chains to freedom- He was done. Out of the way.
His followers mourned. They questioned. The wondered at his words about a coming kingdom when the defeat seemed so complete.
And the whole world waited. It must have seemed like an eternity. The light of the world gone, leaving only darkness for souls.
Then it all came crashing down.
Death was overcome!
Jesus, the Lamb who sacrificed Himself, arose that Sunday morning and nothing has ever been the same.
I cannot think about Good Friday without reflecting on how this same Jesus who conquered death has also defeated my sin and brokenness. He turned my world upside down with His relentless pursuit of my heart when I thought I was doing okay on my own. He wrecked my pride through pain, and he healed my wounds with grace. Pain and grace. They are so often connected in my story- where pain comes, grace follows closely behind. Because the cross is the model for how God redeems- how he overcomes all our enemies. The very pain that seemed to extinguish hope, was the source of hope for us all. The greatest tradgedy became the greatest triumph. Jesus always turns the things that break us into the things that bring us to Him for healing. It’s why we call this Friday good and why we sing with broken healed hearts “It is finished…”