Kakindo Crucifixion (photograph of original color work). Ntiro, Sam J., 1923-1993

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 • Psalm 22 • Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9 • John 18:1-19:42

"'This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,' says the Lord: 'I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds,' he also adds, 'I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.' Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin."Hebrews 10:16-18

All of these readings today leave me in a mix of heartache and joy. Truly, at the foot of the cross justice and love meet. We try so hard to pull these things apart. Yet, when we stare into the heart of the cross they are inseparable.

How can “Good Friday” be good?

It is good because in the cross Christ defeats the powers, defeats sin, defeats death, and does so through love.

Sometimes when you read the Scriptures certain verses jump out to you in ways they haven’t before. That’s what happened this morning with these couple of verses of Hebrews. Hebrews is one of my favorite letters in the New Testament and I’ve read a bunch of times. Yet, these verses really settled into my heart in a different way this morning.

First, the reality that God in God’s sovereignty chooses to no longer remember our lawless deeds. This is not a simple “forgive and forget” kind of thing. No, this is an active decision by the Divine to not remember. God chooses to bury the axe and the handle deep into eternity, never to be seen again.

Second, where this has happened there’s no need for an offering for sin. Perhaps this is the most important aspect of the cross. I think this may get us to the heart of the good of Good Friday. This forgiveness that has been wrought has fundamentally changed the way that we relate to God. The way is open. The veil torn in two. God and man have been reconciled fully and completely.

I think this second idea is what challenges me the most because I can’t quite wrap my mind arond the depth of the grace. When I’m really honest with myself I know so much of how I live is to try and earn the right to be included in the Good Friday peeople. To simply and completely be given this grace seems unbelieveable.

Grace is the hardest thing in following to Jesus to comprehend.

Radical grace just does not compute.

Everything I know about life says that I need to work hard and earn my place. Nothing is given. There are no free lunches. Yet, here at the cross I am reminded that my small sense of personal offering is now unwarranted. I have been welcomed by the Gracious One into the kingdom light. All that is left to be done is rest.