Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Isaiah 53:4-9

4 Surely he took up our pain
   and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
   stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
   and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
   each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all.
 7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
   yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
   and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
   so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
   Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
   for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
   and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
   nor was any deceit in his mouth.

This was part of the section we read in Bible study this week. So fitting. One of the questions was, "How would you like to respond to the Lord Jesus Christ?" 

I admitted that I was not a big fan of questions like this. I remember the first time I really heard of Jesus' death on a cross for our sins. It was the summer I turned 16, about a month before my birthday. I knew growing up that Jesus died and rose again, but never fully understood all that he actually suffered, or understood that the reason for that suffering was our sin. Learning this wrecked me. I was a mess. I had never felt so loved, yet so undeserving. So my response was to give God the only thing you really have to give when your 15, my life.

Now, almost 12 years later, I reflect on Good Friday, on Jesus' death and suffering, and how I would like to respond, and I just don't know. It feels like there is no response that is adequate. I feel lame saying anything because compared to what Christ did, any response I could have seems like it would be so pathetic that I feel bad to even say it. 

And then I had an epiphany. I realized that there is no adequate response. There is no way we could ever begin to express our gratitude or try to give something in return that would even be close, and that to try to muster up the right feelings or emotions is just trying to earn grace. 

All God wants is for us to say, "I love you too." After doing that for 12 years, one thing I know for sure is that I am not very good at that, so even then, I still wish that I had more than that to offer. But I don't. And I think that's an ok place to be. Humbled by God's love, and realizing that there is absolutely nothing I can do to adequately express my gratitude. And knowing that I am going to have to keep coming back again and again to ask for more grace. I am humbled.

Happy Good Friday, friends. Spend some time remembering the one who actually gave his own life so you could spend eternity with God instead of separated from Him. 


Callie Nicole said...

Well said, Anne - this is a beautiful reminder for Good Friday.

Anna Baur said...

Beautiful. Thanks for the reminder!