Good Friday – The Cross, The Abandonment, And The Hope
There are times in life where fall into a sense of hopelessness, and in these moments we fear, ‘am I losing my faith?’ or ‘am I not being faithful enough‘ and these thoughts only push us further down emotionally, for if God is with us–we contemplate with despair–where is he?
When we feel so lost, so abandoned, so broken, yet all we desire in life is to know God and be with him, yet in our deepest moment of pain, we ask–where is God?
To believe in God, to know him as Love, to trust in him with all you have, but still, to feel not only disconnection or silence, but an abandonment, is the hardest place to be spiritually. In our hopelessness, when we cannot help ourselves due to utter weakness, when we are at our most desperate, our hearts cry out what our lips dare not–where is God?
This situation, though seeming contradictory to the life of a believer, is itself seen in the life of Christ on this day. Upon the cross Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – he said the words in his utter despair that all of us who believe are terrified to say.
If you are feeling a great hopelessness upon your life, and though you dare not say it, you feel in your heart to cry out — my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? – remember that your Savior came and experienced the same, but even greater, and he spoke what we dare not. He felt the very real abandonment of God, yet before he gave up his Spirit he went on to say, “Father, into your hands I place my spirit.”
This too, we partake in- the ‘against all hope, to hope’ and continue to place our very spirit in the hands of God, for even after we feel/experience the sense of abandonment by God, we know he cannot and will not leave us to lie in ruin. No, he will take what is broken and make it new. He will resurrect our hopes and dreams. He will create a victory out of what seems a permanent defeat.
Today, allow all the pain and sadness you feel to be with Christ upon the cross. Speak the words, ‘my God, my God, why have you forsaken me’ with your Christ. Speak the words ‘my Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’ with your Christ. And as you do, remember that beyond what you feel today, God has a plan to make all things new in your life.
We call this Friday ‘good’ because God’s plan did not end at the cross on this day; for Christ who was broken upon the cross, just as for your life and dreams, there is still a great resurrection to come.
Good Friday represents the ashes of life, but a crown of beauty is still to come. Good Friday represents our mourning, but the oil of joy is still to be poured upon us. Good Friday represents our spirit of despair, but the garment of praise is still to be wrapped around us.
Good Friday is ‘good’ because it is the day we hang all our despair and saddness upon the cross, and unite with Christ in this loss, knowing that we will also remain united with him in his Resurrection, when all things are made new.