It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.
We have all heard that phrase many times. In fact, it’s one of my favorites. However, let’s not proceed too quickly through Good Friday, but let’s slow down, pause, and consider the cross. My oldest son, Brennan, turns 30 today. It’s remarkable how one person can love another person how I love my son and my other two children. It isn’t easy to describe the love of a parent to a child. Thirty years later, I can still remember the day Brennan was born and the immense feelings of responsibility and deep love. It’s hard to describe how much I love him and do everything I could to be there for him.
In light of a parent’s love, take a moment to look squarely into the cross. See our Savior bleeding and dying. The Prophet Isaiah describes the servant’s horrendous suffering. . “Just as there were many who were appalled at him – his appearance was so disfigured, and his form marred beyond human likeness” (52:14). We can’t meditate upon the cross without examining and seeing Jesus. But on my son’s birthday, I have thought much of what the Father must have been feeling.
In the Garden, His Son cried out to His Abba, asking to have the cup of wrath removed from Him. Jesus knew His Father had the power to do that, and He also knew His Father heard His cries. However, like you and me, He also heard the Father say, “No.” Think for a moment what it must have been like to hear your Son cry out and realizing he was “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Mark 14:34). Imagine hearing your child and having the power to save your child but choosing not to save them. Instead of stepping in and saving His Son, the Father “made him who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
God the Father, said “No” to His Son so that He could say “yes” to us. What else does this mean for you and me? Jesus, just like you and me, understands how it feels when the Father says, “No.” He is able to sympathize with us (Hebrews 4:15). And through the Father’s difficult response, we can also learn what authentic trust and faith look like. Even in the pain of the “No,” we entrust ourselves “to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). Even knowing the Father has heard us and has answered us in ways we would rather Him not, we can echo Jesus’ words, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). We can trust our souls into the Father’s care. Father always knows best.
As you pause on this Friday, are there areas in your life you need to trust the Father? Are there areas where the Father has said, “No” and you need to follow Him in faith? In your pain and fear, listen. The Father is faithful. You can trust in Him.
If you are looking for a place to worship tonight, join us at 6:00 pm as we consider our Lord. We will solemnly pause to reflect upon the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.