This post is part of our Holy Week Series. There are 3 sections to lead you in a devotion time: Read, Reflect, and Pray. May the Holy Spirit use it to prepare your heart for Easter and the Resurrection!
32As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42“He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way. (Matthew 27:32–44, ESV)
Lord Jesus, it’s hard not to feel conflicted about calling the day of your crucifixion, “good.” That there had to be a day when you—the eternally glorious, righteous, loving Son of God, would be made sin for us, is not good at all. But at the same time, that you would freely and gladly give yourself for us on the cross, is never-to-be surpassed goodness. It is quintessential “good.”
From your heart and cross, came these two impassioned cries. “Father forgive them” (Luke 23:34) and “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). The first required the second. The second secured the first. Together, they humble our hearts, silence our words, and fuel our worship.
And then there’s the third this-changes-everything cry. “It is finished.” There’s nothing more to be done, concerning our salvation, and for the renewal and restoration of the cosmos. Once and for all, perfectly and fully, we have been reconciled to God.
You became sin for us, that in you, we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). Hallelujah, the Just died for the unjust, the Beautiful One for the broken ones, the Lamb of God for the rebels from God. We praise, bless, and adore you, Lord Jesus.
A millions-years-plus into our life in the new heaven and new earth, we’ll still be filled with childlike wonder and ceaseless gratitude, for your sacrifice and love for us. Because you were fully forsaken, we are forever forgiven. Because you exhausted God’s judgment against our great unrighteousness, we now live by the gift of your perfect righteousness.
We bow our heads in awe, raise our hands in praise, and surrender our lives with joy. So very Amen we pray, in your all-glorious, all-grace-full name, Lord Jesus.
"A Prayer for Friday of Holy Week" by Scotty Smith
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