Read Psalm 23, Proverbs 2, John 18-19
Those of you who may have read my first book know that I have a chronic, terminal, and apparently incurable disease, the disease to please. I am, by the grace of God, in remission, but in the past, this ugly disease brought me to the edge of total destruction because of the choices it caused me to make. Even now, it will flare up from time to time and I find myself trying to say what people want to hear rather than the truth.
In very difficult counseling sessions I will deflect the hard stuff and resort to humor. Even in these blogs, I want to tell a cute story, have you walk away feeling better about yourself than when you started reading, and by all means, better about me. But today, I am going to stand against my disease and do what needs to be done.
We call this day Good Friday. That is a misnomer. There is nothing good about the day itself. The only perfect human being who ever lived, the expression of God Himself who came just to demonstrate that you and I are loved. The Perfect Lamb of God was arrested, tortured, crucified, and died on this day. It is, without question, the darkest day in the history of all humanity. Every year after Thanksgiving, millions of people flood into stores to buy stuff they do not need with money they do not have. We call that Black Friday. That’s not Black Friday. This is black Friday, but we call it Good Friday.
I encourage you today to sit with the blackness of this day for a while. Don’t run too quickly to dye the eggs and cook the ham for Easter. Don’t pass too easily to the Good News of the Resurrection. We know that is there. We want to get there. But don’t do it quickly. If you can, attend a true Good Friday service at midday today. If it is a true service you will not be glad you went. It will be somber and subdued. There will be no kickin’ praise music or uplifting sermon. It will be depressing and disheartening. It should be because the purpose is to “know Christ and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering.” (Philippians 3:10)
The scripture reading today is long and includes the entire 15 hours from Jesus’s arrest to His death. Live with it. Meditate on it. Ask God the unthinkable, to let you feel some of the fear, loneliness, pain, and anguish that Our Lord felt on that day. Ask what Jesus asked, “Should I not drink from the cup of suffering?” (John 18:11) As best you can in this fast-paced and shallow world, immerse yourself in the darkness of this day.
And then, towards then at the end of the day, listen to S.M. Lockridge say, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’” That’s why it’s good.
YouTube S.M. Lockridge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS2wPotScZY