“Steps, Sound, Sight: Good Friday”
April 19, 2019
Today, Good Friday, we remember Jesus journey to and his death on the cross. The cross, as the Apostle Paul writes, is the very power of God for those who believe (1 Corinthians 1:18).
For us, in our time and culture, the cross can be reduced to a fashion symbol or jewelry charm and we can lose sight of the scandal of Paul’s claim that this death on the cross is the power of God.
The cross, crucifixion, was the execution method of choice unique to the ancient Roman Empire. Criminals who were crucified were exploited as a public display of Roman rule and authority. Rebels were made an example outside of any city conquered and occupied by the Roman Empire, demonstrating the cost of rebellion against the then-most powerful force in the known world.
But within Jesus’ steps to the cross, his sound from the cross, and his sight for the cross God reveals his unmistakable, unintimidated, matchless power.
The power of God took steps. But from Gethsemane where Jesus was betrayed and arrested to His interrogation by the elders and chief priests, Jesus’ steps were bound. Every step was imprisoned as He was bruised and beaten, mocked and shamed, condemned as a criminal.
But this path was chosen. Rather than falling victim to sin and shame, Jesus followed His Father’s will and won us the ability to follow Him. Although Jesus seemed to be walking in defeat and to His death, these are steps moved by the power of God. Because He walked in chains, we can follow Him with freedom in our steps. Because He walked battered and beaten, His flesh ripped from His body, we can walk in healing and wholeness. Because He walked the Via Dolorosa, the way of suffering, we walk with the Son of God and Savior of the World, King of Kings with us in every step, in every season.
Because of his steps, we can walk with him.
From the cross, the power of God has a sound. From about 9 o’clock in the morning until darkness covered the earth at noon, Jesus suffered in every inhale and exhale as his lungs were on the border of collapsing under the weight of his hanging body.
Between gasps, Jesus spoke. While Jesus was surrounded with the sound of shameful insults and mockery, he spoke forgiveness.
Through the sound of sin, Jesus speaks forgiveness for our failures.
“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Through the sound of death, Jesus speaks life.
“I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
Through the sound of loss, Jesus speaks comfort and confidence.
“Woman, here is your son. Here is your mother” (John 19:26).
Through the sound of loneliness, Jesus speaks adoption and anointing.
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1)
Through the sound of fear, Jesus speaks freedom and faith.
“Father, into your hands I entrust my life.” (Psalm 31:5)
“It is finished.” (John 19:30)
Because Jesus is faithful, He completed and finished God’s will to make a way for us to come back to Him. When Jesus said, It is finished, He won our redemption. Jesus won us and spoke for us. When we were yet sinners, selfish and unfaithful, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). When Jesus said, It is finished, He spoke for us.
Through the sound of his faithfulness, Jesus speaks for us.
The power of God took sight. Scripture tells us that Jesus endured the cross and rejected its shame for the joy set before him (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus had His sight set on the joy of humanity’s redemption. Jesus had His sight set on the object of His obsession, for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life with him (John 3:16).
Jesus had His sight set on you, that you would know His heart for you, trust Him with your life, and know Him forever. His sight was set on you. His sight was set that that which was once far away would be brought near. His sight was set on welcoming you home.
In the face of every suffering, we have comfort and confidence trusting that Jesus walks with us, sees, hears, and understands. With every step and with every sound, Jesus’ death won freedom, hope, healing, by his love for you and for all. Jesus’ death won us life. Once and for all.
Pray a prayer of thankfulness today. Let the Lord know you are thankful for His sacrifice, for His choice to go to the Cross for you. Let us find space to thank Him for freedom, hope, healing and infinite love.