April 3, 2015

The Honest Plea of Good Friday

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."

~Nancy Guthrie,

Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow

* * *

"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.

closeup of a representation of the Jesus Christ crown of thorns

5 comments on “The Honest Plea of Good Friday”

  1. Wow, Tricia. What a great post on this Good Friday morning. These quotes you shared "put me in my place," so to speak with regard to the "no" answers God has given me. Really insightful thoughts here that teach us how to be more like Jesus in selflessness and longsufferering. Thanks so much, and a blessed, peace-filled Easter to you.

  2. [...] I politely listened to all the man had to say, but I had already received a clear answer.  Jesus’ gentle whisper spoke volumes and left no room for rebuttal.  His command is that we follow Him, carry our own crosses, be His representatives to others, and extend His invitation to those around us.  Sometimes this means we are in the position of scapegoat.  He was ours. [...]

  3. I always like to think that one of the things that helped Jesus through His ordeal was His real knowledge of what lies beyond this life. He had been there and I like to think that He knew that no matter how much suffering we endure on earth, in human form, there is a reward beyond our wildest dreams. For me it is a life lesson. Expect not your joy on earth but in your place after this life.

  4. dear tricia..of all the easter messages today, this one here that you have posted brings the tears to my eyes..i am at mom and dad goldens and i tried to read it out loud to them but could only manage a few lines...they know about you and your little family,,,,,tricia ..god bless you,,,love terry

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