Friday = My Day – absolutely anything goes on this day as i will share something that is on my mind in any shape, way or form:
Being Good Friday i think it’s good for this to have an Easter theme. so i will share another one of those ‘Coffee with Jesus’ cartoons I’ve recently discovered:
I remember watching Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’ for Easter one Sunday at the Vineyard church I was pastoring which my friend Mark Baker had strongly encouraged us to do. It is not a nice movie to watch because it is so incredibly violent. But it is a great movie to watch because it is so incredibly violent. It comes closest to giving us an idea of what this weekend was all about.
I think it is so easy to become so comfortable with the cross. We wear it as a symbol. We speak about it or point to it. But generally with a deep “Aaaaah. Look at that. Thank-you Jesus!” kind of emotion which completely forgets the real physical pain and exhaustion and suffering and absolute brokenness Jesus went through for us. And as the cartoon points out, to some extent also because of us.
But maybe we need to be reminded of a Mel Gibson ‘Passion of the Christ’ type of crucifixion when we start dealing with the concept of forgiveness and the people in our lives that we need to forgive. Because without the violent depiction of what the crucifixion really looked like, Jesus line of “Father forgive them” can seem like quite an easy one for Him to throw out [He was God’s Son after all] but when we catch a glimpse of everything He went through – not only the physical breaking of His body, but the humiliation, the abandonment of the crowds and for a short time all of His friends who He had walked the last three years with, the betrayal by Judas, the denials of Peter and lastly, the turning away of God the Father’s face as He hung on that cross covered with all of our sin, then we can start to realise the full extent of that statement.
That is the Jesus who screamed out forgiveness with one of His last breaths from the cross. That is the same Jesus who calls us to forgive anyone and everyone who has hurt us in any way. It is not an unreasonable ask coming from Him. And He promises that through His Holy Spirit He will give us the strength to do what may seem impossible or unimaginable.
The Truth is that extending forgiveness to others sets us free. From anger and bitterness and jealousy and hate which all end up eating us slowly from the inside out. To hold on to unforgiveness is to invite a slow death.
Is there anyone you are needing to forgive today? [might be someone from ten, twenty years ago] I strongly encourage you to do so, and at the foot of the cross [with the One who understands, and gets it] is a great place to speak and work that out.
[for next Friday’s A Nose for a Horn, click here]