Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday Thankfulness

I was reading Leviticus chapter one today and was struck by all the details that went into the offerings they had to offer the Lord for atonement. It had me thinking how very thankful I am this Good Friday - even though it is painful to think about Jesus bearing not just all of my sin on the cross - but the sins of each and every person that has ever and will ever live... I am thankful that God has provided THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB and that we no longer have to go through all they did in the Old Testament to make atonement. God, in His great mercy and grace has made a way for us through Jesus. 

I remember before I became a Christian, reading through Isaiah 53..

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
 He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
 Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
 All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?

And they made his grave with the wicked

    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.
 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.
I remember in my stubbornness telling my friend that passage "must be about someone/something else" It wasn't until years later that the Lord opened my eyes and my heart to the Truth and that I realized I had, like a sheep gone astray, but God had laid on Jesus all of my sin and that I could be forgiven.  It's hard to believe, but it's been 28 years since God got a hold of my heart - I'm still in process and still on a journey of learning and growing, but this Good Friday I am so very thankful that God made a way for me. As Jesus hung on that cross and everything went dark, I'm sure many felt hopeless. I know I've felt hopeless before, as I type this I still struggle, but God has been doing a lot of healing in this broken heart of mine and showing me that with Christ there is ALWAYS hope.

As I write this, I am struggling with faith to trust God and feeling overwhelmed with my finances... but even in the darkest of hours, even when all seems lost, even when I can't see a way out... I know that because of Jesus I have hope.

Clinging to the Cross,


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