Today is Good Friday.
Today, Jesus whispers to my heart with new words. This Man of Sorrows knows such deep brokenness, wrenching pain, and even wishing for God to bring a miracle, another plan that would cost less.
Jesus said, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death." (matt 26:38)
"He offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death." (heb. 5:7-9)
My heart identifies with Jesus today, the man who said, in essence, "Please. Please no. I don't want to walk this path."
Nearly every day, I say in any tone, volume, or escalating degree, "Please. Please no. Isn't there another way? Does obeying you really have to feel this lonely, make me this tired, cost me this much?"
In sinless perfection, Jesus poured out the longings of his heart before his Father, without apology. We hear him cry out to his Father, asking if there could be another way, any way at all, to avoid this. A second time, then again a third, he pleaded for an alternative to the horror of abandonment by his Father. If such an alternative existed, wouldn't the Father provide it? But the obedient Son's plea to his loving Father was met with silence - a tacit no from God.
It would seem to me that if anybody ever deserved to have his prayers answered in the affirmative, it was Jesus. Here he was in the garden of Gethsemane, pouring out his repeated request to his Father, asking him to accomplish the salvation of sinners in some other way.
Yet God, through his silence, said no.
Jesus knows what it feels like to bring a heartfelt, passionate prayer to God and to hear God say, in effect, "I've got something else in mind. I have another plan. And that plan is going to require some intense suffering on your part."
Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow
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"Perhaps, we call Good Friday good because it was what made Easter possible. But why wasn't there any other way? Does it always take failure in man's terms to make success in God's?
Experience is painfully teaching me that what seems a NO to man from man's point of view, is often the essential prelude to a far greater YES."
~ Madeleine L'Engle, The Irrational Season
Jesus, today, I love you for your honesty.
For letting us hear you say, please, I wish there could be another way.
Your plea, in words that match mine, quiet my spirit.