I don’t want to stand here, at the foot of the cross.
Standing in the stench of my own sin, now pooling in red, and watching Someone else pay the price for it.
The blood, the torture, the gory figure on an executioner’s cross.
And then these haunting words from Jesus: “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” — which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
This faith of mine looks so messy and horrifying, here at the feet of a dying King.
Last night, our church family gathered around the table for a feast of lamb, egg, unleavened bread called Matzoh. We drank from the Four Cups. On the third cup — the Cup of Redemption — we served communion, one to another, as Jesus did some 2,000 years while celebrating Passover with friends in the Upper Room.
The body of Christ, given for you. The blood of Christ, shed for you.
Our room was ringed in candlelight, remembrance and palm branches, dying and curling on the edges.
Weren’t we shouting “Hosanna” and waving palms only five days ago? Today, are some of the same voices shouting “Crucify Him” and waving fists in the air?
Around our church table, we asked the traditional four questions, the answers to which explain why the Passover night is “different from all other nights.”
Today, on Good Friday, I ask a fifth question: Where was my voice in the crowd? In my silence, in my pride, in my sin, I wonder if my two-faced heart cries the same: Crucify Him!
No, I don’t like standing here at the foot of the cross. Good Friday doesn’t feel very “good” at all. Today, I want to shout “He is Risen! He is risen indeed!”
But God places His hand beneath my chin, and gently lifts my eyes to Calvary: “Behold, the lamb of God…”
So I wait …
“It’s Friday … it’s only Friday. But Sunday’s comin’.”