Updated: Jun 4
Have you ever been in love?
Whether it was a romantic relationship, a friend you loved, or love you gave to a family member, love changes us.
I don’t know about you, but I deeply desire love. Every single day. I wake up and want to know, believe and trust that somebody loves me.
It is this space within my body that tugs and flutters when I feel safe and confident in someone’s tenderness and care towards my character and heart.
We were created to feel this desire for love. I believe it’s safe to say we all want to be known, be understood, and be loved in some form or fashion. Somedays I get so frustrated with this desire I cave into lies. The lies—”If I just had a man that loved me, I’d be ok.”, “If my friends just understood this part of me, I’d be satisfied.” ,”Maybe if I do _____, they’ll love me.” These are the lies that cycle within my thoughts whenever my heart begins to search for things to fill me up.
I’ve fallen in and out of young love, loved many things in life, and searched for all sorts of remedies that would satisfy this void that lies deep inside my heart. But nothing has compared to the Love I have known, and know from Jesus Christ.
Today is Good Friday.
Today Love was on full display, nailed to a cross.
Good Friday is the day that Jesus dies. Leading up to Jesus’ death, He is arrested, stripped of His clothes, whipped, spat on, mocked, and pierced with a crown of thorns.
The King and Messiah we were talking about yesterday, was facing a criminals death. Unbelievable.
How could Jesus, the man who days ago, raised a dead man, soon be hung on a cross???
It doesn’t make any sense. How is this day Good?
His Love. That’s why.
His Hope. That’s why.
His Life. That is why!
Because of the life Jesus lived and the cross He carried, we see how great His Love towards us actually is. That He would willing choose to look at us, in all our spite and rejection, and He would still say "I love YOU", "Father forgive them."
Because of Jesus’ death, we can know Grace. Mercy, and eternal Hope.
I love the way Rolfe Barnard puts the concept of God’s Grace and Mercy into words. He says, “Mercy is God’s favor that holds back from us what we deserve. Grace is God’s favor that gives us what we do not deserve.”
That was our cross. Jesus didn't deserve death. His life was blameless. He spent His entire life on earth healing the unhealable, bringing peace to chaos, loving the rejected, and redeeming the unredeemable.
I don't know about you, but my life doesn't touch in comparison to the way Jesus lived. In fact, there are unfortunately many ways I've lived my life completely contradicting how Jesus did. I've spent many days in my own pride, in my own assumptions, making choices on my own terms, completely following what I want to do, how I want to do it, leading me further and further away from the heart of The Creator of anything I could ever hope or dream of.
But even in all of my resistance, all of my disobedience, all of my rejection, and all of my pride, past, present, and future, Jesus had my name in mind when He was hanging on that cross.
Jesus had YOUR name when He was hanging on that cross.
He knew He would be rejected.
He knew He would even be despised.
But He chose Grace and bled Love.
For YOU and for ME!
And that changes EVERYTHING.
The way the cross Jesus bore, so perfectly intertwines Mercy and Grace is so beautiful.
We see in Luke 23:34 Jesus asks God to have mercy on us, to pardon humanity for their sins, their mocking, and their “Then Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.' And they cast lots to divide his clothing”.
I asked you about your experience with love at the beginning. Whether you have never had a deep loving relationship or not, I want you to really pay attention to what I am about to say.
Jesus died for us. He died for us so that we would desire to know His love. So that we would trust that His Love is so great, that He was willing to endure the most horrific death.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever should believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him." John 3:16-17
On this Good Friday we remember the cross Jesus bore.
On this Good Friday we remember the sin He put to death on my behalf.
On this Good Friday we mourn with Jesus' mother, Mary, as she watched her Son die a miserable death.
On this Good Friday we sit in unexplainable gratitude, that Jesus would give His life for me.
On this Good Friday we fall deeper into the Love of Jesus.
On this Good Friday we wait in joyful anticipation of what Heaven is celebrating now.
I want to share with you a resource that has really set my heart on the weight of the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf.
Jesus Is Loving Barabbas:
I pray that my friend reading this is touched by the sacrifice that Your Son made today. I pray that we do not loose hope, but that we remember what Love is about to do. I pray that in all our brokenness, pain, and heart ache, we would be reminded of the depths and power in Your Great Love. Father, forgive us. Forgive our unbelief, forgive our spite, forgive our rejection. Give us renewed hearts that grow in empathy and are change by the Grace You give. We love You. We praise You. We thank You, for all that You've done, are doing, and will do.
We can't wait to hear from YOU! Let us know what life is like, how we can best encourage you, or let just chat! Whatever is on your heart, we want to hear it!
A Letter To You
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As always we would love to hear from you any thoughts, stories, or dreams! On your team and in YOUR corner! Love you friend!
MM & Laurel