Today is the day my Savior and Lord was crucified. We call it “Good Friday.” The movies often portray a calm, collected Jesus – sad and in pain, but always glassy-eyed and dignified – in their depictions of the crucifixion. And certainly, we don’t doubt His confidence. He came into this world to die and rise again, and He knew that. He did not hang on that cross with doubts about His identity or God’s plan. No, He hung there only with pain. But what pain that was.
“When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up His spirit.” (Matthew 27:50)
This was no dignified event. It was raw and excruciating. And the incarnate God – the one in whom infinite feelings were embodied in one frail, freshly being – suffered. It wasn’t a calm, quiet suffering, it was loud and tortured. He screamed out the first line of Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” He thirsted. He refused sedatives that would have lessened the pain (but also the judgment). And then He yelled out again. The agonizing yell of verse 50 was His last shout before His resurrection. But it wasn’t His last shout forever. He will shout again (I Thessalonians 4:16). And when He does, it will be exciting.
Do you know the emotional, joyful Jesus? He is passionate from His cross to His return. He is coming again with a loud command, a shout – a noisy, triumphant declaration of final victory. Jesus never just went through the motions – never. He is not an unemotional Savior.
Why should that matter to us? Because we’re often given a false picture of Jesus. Our traditions imply that God often created us with deep emotions but never shared them while He was in the flesh. We often envision a Lord who is robotic and matter of fact, not a Lord who is in excruciating pain on one end of the emotional spectrum and noisily celebrating His victory on the other. But our Jesus is enthusiastic about His plan and exuberant about those He has redeemed. His Joy Is Unbridled. As you think about His death today, and the reality of His resurrection, may your joy too be unrestrained.
Have a joy-filled, victorious weekend. Make it better by worshiping The Lord with those who know they have been redeemed of an impossible debt and can’t keep quiet about it.
“He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, The King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see, to Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:15b-16)