Good Friday

“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it.  Oh, what a miserable person I am!  Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?”

Romans 7:15, 24

Our sinfulness can overpower us sometimes.  Not in a “I can’t physically function because I’m so sinful” way but a “I am so disappointed in myself I can’t think of anything else” kind of way.  We will dwell on our thoughts that don’t match up to God’s thoughts.  We will be shocked that we can’t remain faithful.  We will not let ourselves let go.  Maybe it’s that we aren’t forgiving ourselves.  Maybe we just feel the need to dwell on our brokenness so much that we become emotionally disabled.  I don’t think that’s what God intended.

Today is Good Friday.  A day intended to remember the sacrifice of our Savior.  Jesus died on the cross to set us free from our sin, to give us new life, the ability to be restored and to restore.  We remember our brokenness and sinful nature, the reason Jesus had to die on the cross.  But it doesn’t end there.  God made us a new creation, a holy temple, a blessed people.  He gives sight to the blind, health to the sick, and rest to the weary.  Paul asks, “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?”  It is Christ, who is the same God from Isaiah 40.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tires and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Remember those mistakes you made yesterday?  You’re forgiven.

Remember that person you wronged last week?  You’re restored.

Remember the sin you committed against your neighbor last month?  You’re made new.

Remember that unspeakable things you did last year, the one you’ve been dwelling on lately that you haven’t been able to shake?  Listen to the first words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of Mark: “The time has come.  The kingdom of God has come near.  Repent and believe the good news.”  The good news of redemption and reconciliation and of new life; it’s here.

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.  For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’”

Romans 1:16-17

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