I don’t remember a super-sunny Good Friday. Ever.
Perhaps somewhere in the world, but never where I’ve been. And that’s okay with me. It matches my mood as I take more time than usual to remember the life of Christ.
My dad took part in an Easter musical years ago when we lived in Texas. Our church performed it in my high school (which was huge – 707 in my graduating class!) and put on a stunning recreation of Jesus’ story. It bore great significance in my life – I still sing many of the songs to this day at the top of my lungs when I shower.
But sadly, when I went to retrieve the DVD of his musical yesterday, I couldn’t find it. Grrr! I was not happy about not partaking in what has become one of my most precious Easter traditions.
I opted for my second choice, The Jesus Film.
As I watched it with my children, I found myself struck once again by the submission of Issac. My Pastor, Frank Bolella, had taught a few months ago about Abraham sacrificing his only son, the one he had waited for and yet been called to give back to God.
Believing God would somehow restore Isaac’s life, Abraham headed out with two servants and his son, finally stopping to do the deed atop Mount Moriah, the very place where hundreds of years later, Jesus would die on the cross for the sins of the world.
Isaac carried the wood on which he would lay, as Christ did His cross. And once Abraham readied the altar, Issac took his place, without struggle, without malice. He submitted fully to the will of his father and became what would have been a sacrifice.
If I had been Isaac, would I have tried to reason with my father? Would I have insisted a lamb would have proven good enough, a substitute God would surely accept? Would I have thought my father mad and launched a physical defense?
Would I have been so humble?
Had Isaac not yielded, he would never have known the miraculous outcome of his remarkable obedience. How his father heard the angel’s voice commanding him not to slay his son. How the testing of God brought about tremendous blessing for generation upon generation. How well Isaac modeled the actions of the One Who ultimately died for him.
For you. For me.
Abraham sacrificed a ram caught in the thicket that day as a substitute for Issac. Years later, there was no sheep in the thicket, no last-minute intervention by a just yet grieving Father. He provided the ultimate perfect sacrifice, His Son.
Rejected by friends. Declared insane by family. Tortured while innocent. Envied by leaders. Despised by brothers. Beaten without cause. Spit on by soldiers. Mocked by accusers. Denied by disciples. Scorned by thousands. Abandoned by followers.
Separated from His Father.
Unfathomable pain, a wounding only imagined by man. Neither the bleeding nor the beating, not the thorns or the nails, but the searing agony of feeling forsaken by the One He loved most ultimately cost Him the most.
All that He may utter, “It is finished.”
Jesus’ passionate pain of great price ushered in the most magnificent victory that ever was and will ever be. Crushing victory over the enemy and all his treasonous angels. Victory over sin and death, suffering and sorrow, pain and sickness.
Victory to be enjoyed and celebrated forever and ever, thanks to One with the humility of Isaac, a lowly Carpenter named Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Savior of the World – Hallelujah!!!