Friday, April 6, 2012

Unrelenting Sorrow and Unrestrained Joy

Unrelenting Sorrow

Celebrating Good Friday seems like an oxymoron. How can Jesus, suffering and dying on a cross be cause for celebration? And doesn't celebration involve merriment and festivity and gladness? If you are a Christian, you understand the full weight and implication of what took place on this day long ago. God in Christ as fully man and fully God, suffered and died. He felt pain and agony and anguish just like you and me. He cried out and demonstrated a human desire to be anywhere but on that cross when he prayed the night before his death “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me".

When we come to this day overcome with sorrow and sadness, it demonstrates our humanness.

We are more like Christ when we experience sorrow over the pain and suffering of another. Christ himself expressed deep sorrow upon entering Jerusalem weeping and saying as he entered the city "Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace!" 

God made us to feel compassion for others. It is never wrong to feel deeply for others. We feel even more sorrow when we think of the sufferings of our savior compared to the arrogance and pride in ourselves. I often wonder why my devotion and love for Jesus is not as deep as I think it should be. Why is it that I can look at the cross or come to this day without more sorrow or more devotion?

It is exactly this obsession with myself and my performance that drives me to a desperate realization once again - I need Jesus.

I need his death. I need his resurrection. I need his life. I need him to be for me what I could and would never be on my own.

Unrestrained Joy

As quickly as my sorrow builds, the joy erupts. As soon as my sorrow overwhelms me, joy explodes onto the scene. My sadness is overtaken by outrageous joy, gratitude and worship as I come to grips with the truth that I am finally and forever forgiven and free!

God in Christ died to make me and to make you free. Forever forgiven. Forever loved.

 "In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them" 2 Cor 5:19. God came down in the person of Jesus to reunite the ones he loves with himself. What was once impossible is now possible. What once was separated is now joined together. The only way this could be accomplished is by not counting our trespasses against us. They have to be counted against another and that person is Jesus. By his death we've been freed. Without that promise and hope I'd be crushed, and so would you.

That's the irony of the cross. The upside-downess of God's Kingdom. 

Sad and joyful all at once? Painful and sweet, together they meet? 

How can that be? We can't comprehend such love. 

So we rest, we smile and we believe that what Christ said, he meant.

Good Friday is good! My savior came for me today. It is finished!

At the cross I bow my knee
Where Your blood was shed for me
There's no greater love than this
You have overcome the grave
Your Glory fills the highest place
What can separate me now? 

You tore the veil
You made a way
When You said that it is done.
~ Hillsong


  1. Great Post, Lori. I have been on an emotional roller coaster for the last few days. I am weeping at prayers on the radio for Easter by precious people thanking God and then dancing for Joy at a worship service last night. Then weeping this morning and then more joy! You expressed it in this post in an amazing way. :)

    Can't wait for Sunday. Praying that many will come to know the Joy we feel and meet the Savior for the first time.....

  2. Thanks Tammy! It is the tension - bitter and sweet, all at the same time! I can't wait for Sunday too! Lord, have your way! "See" you tomorrow :)