SUFFERING: Can you imagine what kind of pain you have to endure in a Crucifixion? Hanging by nails pierced through your wrists and ankles in the hot sun of the day? Can you imagine not being able to wipe your brow, scratch and itch as well as the sheer agony that you would be feeling in your arms and legs? Having to struggle for every breath you take, eventually suffocating to death? Not only having to suffer physically, but spiritually knowing that your father had abandoned you and forsaken you? That had to be brutal.
SHAME: It is one thing to suffer such a painful death. But before the crucifixion, Jesus suffered humiliation. A mock trial in front of the whole town. Having to endure and hear all sorts of insults hurled at him. Being spit on. Being deserted by his friends. Having to see the face of disappointment and agony on your mother as she sees you hanging from that tree. Such shame to suffer for an innocent man.
SELFLESS LOVE: For God so LOVED the world is what John 3:16 reminds us. How can you fathom such selfless love that you would suffer for EVERYONE who would be born. For those who would follow after you and for those who would deny you. Jesus died for EVERYONE. He died for George Washington as well as Adolf Hitler. He died for Mother Teresa as well as Osama Bin Laden. It is so difficult to imagine such selfless love.
If you really think about it the title, “Good Friday” is somewhat ironic. There isn’t much Good in what Jesus had to go through. Yet fthe fact that He did go through it is purely Good. So that is part of what Good Friday is all about. Suffering, Shame and Selfless Love. Praise God that His love is that far reaching. May we not take this day for granted.