Last Friday – Good Friday.
I love how the worst day in the course of human history actually turned out to be the best.
Yes, the Roman Empire executed (literally) its death sentence on the Savior of the World. And He died.
But, He lives again.
At our church, we have several Good Friday services. I went at high noon. Somehow, I thought that was kinda appropriate – especially considering the "business" I had in mind for this day.
You see, on Good Friday our church has several crosses set up in the sanctuary – where everyone has the opportunity to write some things down on a card and then nail it to a cross.
Two years ago, I can vividly remember what I nailed. Last year, I remember nailing something else.
But for the last two weeks, God has been whispering to my spirit what HE had in mind for me this year.
It was a lot…it was everything.
It was my life.
I've wrestled as I've been thinking about this. You all know that I've shared my particular struggles this past year with health issues. And you all know that I tend to worry about it a lot.
Fear is my worst enemy.
And so, there's always been a part of me that's been afraid to yield my actual, physical life to the Lord. In the back of my mind, I've always been afraid that if I did it, God would make me die. Which is silly really – like I have any control over it in the first place.
So, I felt fearful most of last week as I contemplated this year’s "nailing."
However, by the time I reached church on Friday, I was ready.
And so I wrote on my little card – MY LIFE – and I nailed it quite heartily to the cross.
It felt sorta scary, and really invigorating.
After the service was over, I decided that I wanted something to remember this day. Something to commemorate its meaning. So I went into the little bookstore at our church.
I looked around at gift items – nothing struck me.
I wandered over to the jewelry section.
And then I found exactly the perfect thing. A silver cross. With these words written on it:
"It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20)
I cried at the meaning of what I had just done. I cried at the Lord's gracious gift of salvation – the gift that enabled me to give my life to Him. I cried that I found the PERFECT memento to symbolize this day.
And as I looked at my new purchase, I noticed that the horizontal beam of the cross had only these words written on them:
IT IS NO LONGER I…
Then I really cried.
For in that moment I realized something. Those words were not a statement of resignation or defeat. NO! They were a resounding war cry – a joyous confirmation of an inner determination.
It is no longer I.
I find that the most thrilling thing to utter.
And, to the best of my fearful heart, to mean it!
You wanna know the rest of that verse – the other two sentences that surround it like a sandwich?
"My old self has been crucifed with Christ…So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
Oh, Lord – I am finally learning how to lose my life to find it.
Yes, this last Good Friday there were actually four crosses up on that hill. Two thieves, Jesus, and one scaredy-cat…me.
I am honored to have shared that moment with my Savior.
And I have a feeling that He's pretty excited that I was there, too.
I'm not sure, but I think I just might have heard Him whisper with a wink…
"What took you so long?"
good riddance: a welcome relief or deliverance from something
Riddance = me
What are you nailing to the cross in your life?
Linked today with Joan at the GRACE CAFE
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"