Good Friday is a time that many Christians will purposefully spend time reflecting on what Christ has done for us on the cross. Some will watch The Passion of Christ; others will attend Passion plays at their church or participate in one. Still others may have ritualistic type things they do in the quiet of their home to reflect and remember what Jesus sacrificially did for us on the cross nearly 2,000 years ago. We have laser treatment appointments!
For the last two if not three years, Judah has had a laser treatment scheduled for Good Friday. If I didn't believe in the Sovereign Hand of God working all things together for my good, I would feel like I and my family are the target of a cosmic joke. And, while my faith certainly does waver, I do, nevertheless believe and by God's grace, stand firm in the truth that even this small detail is not coincidental.
I guess in a way, it's become our family's way of commemorating Good Friday (or God's way of having our family remember it). I do not schedule this way on purpose, by the way; it just happens. Crazy, isn't it?!
The timing actually provides quite an amazing opportunity to grow in appreciation for what my God, the Father, did on that first "Good Friday". He willingly SENT His Son to die on a cross to receive His wrath in order to pay for my sins. Isaiah 53:10 says it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer. I consider that when I willingly subject my son to pain and suffering during his laser treatment, and for really noone else's good but his own. I consider that and am led to worship the God, my God, who is so different than me...so incomprehensibly loving.
Then, I consider the Holy Son of God, Jesus, who on that first Good Friday, willingly WENT to the cross to suffer and die, to know abandonment by His Father and to take the full cup of God's wrath that my sin deserves. And, I consider how He did this: Isaiah says, He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. And, then there is Judah who screams bloody murder to take on relatively mild suffering again for noone else's benefit but his own. And, again, I stand amazed by how different Christ is from us and what a glorious, amazing thing it is that Jesus died on the cross for my sins.
I will likely be tempted tomorrow to feel sorry for myself at some point or to think Judah and our family got a raw deal. But, the truth is Jesus is the only One who ever got the raw deal. He was perfectly righteous, had never sinned, had never known anything but perfect fellowship with His Father. But, as Philippians says, Christ Jesus...made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Thank you, Jesus, for humbling yourself by dying on the cross for my sin. Thank you for choosing to carry through with your Father's plan to redeem my life from the pit, even though it meant that You'd endure the most horrific pain and injustice known to mankind. In light of that, help me to have a grateful heart tomorrow when I drop off my kids one more time at a babysitter's and travel down I-95 one more time to see Dr. Cohen and nurse, George. Help me to communicate to my sons in a way they can understand that even in the midst of our circumstances, You have been and are being kind to us by not giving us what we deserve. Help us to carry the light that you have graciously shown into our dark hearts into Hopkins tomorrow, into that laser room that we typically dread. Help us to see that place as the platform You've given to us to shine Your light and radiate Your truth.