Beautiful Between

living fully in the now & not yet

We Don’t Talk About This on Good Friday

For he made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  2 Corinthians 5:21

We talk about the supper.

In still and gentle tones, the last message of a dying man, shared and sung around the table in time-honored tradition. Love and service, compassion and kindness, the you don’t understand, but you will. He loved his own given in the world, now loved them to the last. Bread and wine and a cup we couldn’t share, a commandment to love one another, to do this and remember.

We talk about the betrayal.

Love carried and grown over months, years, thrown away by those who swore they’d die with him. Over dinner he said what you’re going to do, do quickly, and there were pieces of silver and we wonder what would be our price? The kiss by torchlight, the violence in the garden, frightened fleeing disciples.

We talk about the denial.

The most passionate, most ardent, first to say I’d go to the grave became first to say I never knew. Huddled around a charcoal fire, warming against the cold that might have been inside, trying to get a little closer to the one he’d deserted. The rooster’s crow, the bitter weeping, the curses called down.

We talk about the pain.

We know it was excruciating. Beaten beyond recognition, hard and sharp thorns piercing skin, blood matted and crusted in hair. A back with flesh hanging off in raw strips, shredded and pressed up against splintering wood. The crushing weight of asphyxiation, the tearing cruelty of pushing up on nail-pierced appendages for one. more. breath.

But we don’t talk about this.

We don’t talk about he made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf. We don’t talk about what that means, the weight of pain in trading perfection to be all horror and hatred and mass of sin.

Let it sink in, wash over and wreck you – it never ceases wrecking me.

He knew no sin. This Christ who came, who changed things, who embraced and accepted, who was perfection itself. He forgave relentlessly, loved furiously, fought passionately for a reconciled family. Kindness and compassion and unfailing rightness, he never knew sin.

He became sin on our behalf. This Christ tasted not just pain of torture and grief of betrayal for us. It wasn’t just substitution, standing in the gap, but becoming the gap, becoming the separation between us.

Everything we’ve ever done wrong. Everything wrong ever done to us. Both are wrapped up in this becoming that separated him from his Father.

He became every failure and ugly thought and unkind word. Every malicious intent of my heart, every slanderous word spoken. Every assault, every horror, every crime against humanity. Every theft of innocence, every cruel turning away, every twisted injustice.

This is the horrifying and humbling weight that brings tears to my eyes and weakness to my knees. Perfection became sin. What mystery is this? What weight of tragedy, what holy ground we’re on. Great love will endure pain, but be made into everything it vehemently opposes?

And this is how the new-making comes, the world reconciling and turning back over. This is sickness and shatteredness slowly being made right, because he already became it. This is kingdom come on earth as in heaven and I don’t have to be afraid to draw close anymore.

And this is what we should talk about on Good Friday, amidst the violence and betrayal and still moments at the supper. This is the good of the gospel, the good of this dark Friday none of us could see.

This is the good of the gospel, the good of this dark Friday none of us could see. Click To Tweet

14 Replies

  1. Oh my goodness. Wrecked is right. Every sin. All of them. Just all of mine would be overwhelming. But EVERY sin. Of every one.

    Messy grace.

    Matchless love.

  2. Jocelyn Simmons

    Just Beautiful! Fighting back the tears, no, giving in to them.
    Thank you. We Love because He first loved us.

  3. Randy

    You say it so well, Sarah…this Perfect Man, God, becoming sin for us should always wreck all of us who love him. As your Mom says, thank God He loved us first.

  4. Beautiful, Sarah!

    Our Good Friday is not until a month later. Ever since I remember it was a day of pain and sorrow, a time to do things that would touch Jesus’s heart and show Him that what He did for us…not all of it was a waste. The ideal thing would be to do that everyday!

    May Easter bring love, light, and hope to everyone’s heart for a better world, within and about!

  5. Wonderful Sarah!
    Good Friday is the only Holy Day that I deeply observe.
    Nothing is more poignant to me than knowing that it is only by His sacrifice and Grace, that I, a wretch of an alcoholic and drug addict, has been delivered, redeemed and granted God’s forgiveness for my sins through the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, one that was perfect without spot or blemish.
    Thank you Jesus.

    1. Thanks, Philip! Poignant is right-the gospel is so rich and beautiful, especially to those of us so aware of our brokenness. Thanks for reading!

  6. One of my favorite quotes from St. Faustina Kowalska (who is mostly known for sharing the message of Divine Mercy in the 20th century) goes like this:

    “I love You, Jesus, to the point of madness, You who were crushed with suffering as described by the prophet [Isaiah 53:2-9], as if he could not see the human form in You because of Your great suffering. It is in this condition, Jesus, that I love You to the point of madness. O eternal and infinite God, what has love done to You?…”

    For “crushed with suffering” I usually add “crushed under the weight of our sin.” It’s quite a meditation.

    Well put, on your part. 🙂

    1. That is so powerful, Randi! I love that line, “what has love done to you?” Thanks for sharing and the kind words ☺

  7. Destiny Prezzato

    I was born on good Friday. And before mercy I despised my name and my birth . Recently, God has been giving me revelation about the specific day that I was born on and the fact that He named me Destiny!!! This blog means so much to me 🙂 love you and am so grateful for your life !!

    1. I love this so much, Destiny!

  8. Christine

    Beautifully written the part that makes me cry is “ the crushing weight of asphyxiation, the tearing cruelty of pushing up on nail- pierced appendages for one, more breath. “
    Thank you for the article ?

  9. When I was a teenager a pastor spoke to our youth group. He told the crucifixion story through a physcians eyes. How the body reacts to torture. How Jesus sweat blood from his skin pores. How the blood and water mixed in Jesus heart because He literally died of a broken heart! When the spear pierced his side both water and blood flowed out. Normally blood and water are in separate systems. That was in 1971, 48 years ago. Yes I went forward and accepted Jesus as my Saviour that night!

  10. Anonymous

    Would love for yu to leave this would love to take my time and read them all is it okay thanks from my heart my minister I love more in stores and streets was on my job

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