Good Friday

(Originally posted April 23rd, 2011)

Easter video:

3 Days Later: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueat3x1eutw&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLB1B55227C6787DE5

Resurrection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcKB-QDVEfc&list=PLB1B55227C6787DE5

A few years ago in church, I was walking into the auditorium when I saw a very upset little boy about three years old. He looked at his dad and said, “Dad, are you sure this is Good Friday? Because it seems like Bad Friday!”

Good Friday wasn’t a good day for Jesus either. His friends walked away from Him when he needed them the most. He had done nothing but good and was rewarded with evil. He became a scapegoat for an angry mob that let a murderer free instead. His heart was broken as the same people who had cheered His triumphal entry into the city a week before spat on Him and watched sadistic soldiers torture Him.

If you have ever felt used, abandoned, violated, discarded, mistreated, betrayed, or utterly alone, trust me, He understands. He did nothing to deserve the slow, agonizing death of crucifixion, yet He died a bloody, violent death on display in front of both those who loved Him and those who hated Him for being different. He was real, genuine, sincere, and the light of His goodness exposed pretenders and hypocrites for what they really were.

He did it for us. Not only did He give us a reason to live life to the fullest now, but He gave us a hope beyond this world of turmoil and pain. He gives it freely, and He offers it to everyone. You can’t deserve it. You can’t earn it. It’s a gift.

It’s been said that religion is man trying to reach God or be a god, but Christianity is God reaching down to us, right where we’re at, just as we are. “Religion conforms, Jesus transforms” says one minister.

Many people don’t want anything to do with Jesus because He’s been misrepresented to them. But if you read His words and open your heart, you’ll find that He’s anything but the distant, scary, condemning, unsmiling figure you may have been forced to accept in Sunday School.

I have seen and experienced some very sick and twisted things in my life. There have been times I’ve wondered where God was and why He would let something so horrible happen. My faith has been shaken to the core many times.

Through it all, though, my heart has kept coming back to one inescapable truth: there is nothing in this world, no one powerful enough, no force strong enough, to separate me from His love. As the Psalmist said, “Fearless now, I trust in God; what can mere mortals do to me?”

As we enter Easter weekend, I challenge you to set aside all of the legalistic garbage and stiff, superficial zombie-like behavior that may have been presented to you as Christian. Jesus wasn’t like that. Not at all. His arms are open wide, not folded in front of Him. He loves you. Personally and deeply.

Even if the rest of the world seems to have walked out on you, He never will.

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The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances. -Robert Flatt

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©2011 H. Hiatt/wildninja.wordpress.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninja.wordpress.com.

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