Friday, April 2, 2010
Goodness Made in Flesh
If there was ever a theme for "Good Friday" I think it would be this video with Divine Romance by Phil Wickham--check it out:
While I was on my mission's trip to New York City, I had a conversation with a gentleman who was Muslim on the differences between Christianity and the Muslim faith. I recall one comment he made that really ties in with the question: "Why 'good' Friday?" He said " Why is it that you Christians choose to have a cross as your religious symbol? It makes no sense! If you love someone so much, why would you show honor to something that actually was a part of your loved one's death?" I feel as if God just breathed this answer into me in that moment, " Well, if you notice---the cross no longer has Christ on it, does it? It's a symbol of both the sin that was conquered and the resurrection that took place three days later." It does seem rather odd that we have a cross for a symbol of our faith in Christ Jesus and that we have a day set aside on our calenders in which we remember his death. If Christ rose a few days later, why emphasize his death? Why not have a stone necklace instead of a cross for our symbol to represent the stone being rolled away?
It hit me today while I was doing my quiet time and just praying for God to reveal something unique and special to me about this day that we can call this day " good " because we have a Good God. Lately, I have been overwhelmed with scripture describing the attributes of God including his goodness, faithfulness and his steadfast love. Goodness is an attribute of God that is permeated throughout all of scripture:
And he said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name 'The LORD.' And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
Oh, how abundant is your goodness,which you have stored up for those who fear youand worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,to dwell in your courts!We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,the holiness of your temple!
Rain in abundance, O God, you shed abroad;
you restored your inheritance as it languished;
10your flock found a dwelling in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.
(The LORD’s Mercy Remembered) I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD,the praises of the LORD,according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israelthat he has granted them according to his compassion,according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
And these are just a few of the verses that have the word "goodness" in them; not including the goodness God has lavished upon those he loves both within the Bible and His current body of believers. Not only is goodness included in the list of God's attributes, but this quality of God was personified in his son, Jesus Christ--check out this verse in Titus 3
"3For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
AH! You cannot tell me that this verse does not create so much sorrow and joy within your heart all at once when you read it. His goodness appeared, the word goodness was actually made into a human image that walked upon this earth only to be poured out on who....US! What does it say in verse 5? It says "He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his....mercy". Mercy is not getting something we deserve--mercy is being justified so that we might become the heirs of an eternal life. Now that is why we can call this day 'good.'