The Challenge of Good Friday
On Good Friday, I always seem to become curious about Jesus the man. Here is a guy who lived a relatively normal life after his spectacular, headline-making birth. I am not sure what happened in the years between then and his thirties. Did God have a boot camp for him? Did Joseph and Mary home school him to educate him on how to be Jesus the Savior? How to you prepare him for the role of a lifetime? How do you prepare him for such brutality, such betrayal? And, then there is the cross. I cannot picture that conversation.
Yet, Jesus managed it all and did not even falter until the very last minute, if you call it faltering.
God, if there is another way, please can we take it. But if there isn’t, I will do it your way.
No, that is not faltering. That is courage. That is faith. That is owning the life he was chosen to live. That is complete obedience. To know his future and concede it to God, knowing he would be pushed to the ultimate limits as a human being with the unimaginable physical pain, and such extreme emotional anxiety that his sweat was droplets of blood, yet still able to utter the words, “Thy will be done.” Wow. That is not faltering.
When we are faced with challenges, pain, grief, sickness, our own death, do we ask for another way with the promise of doing whatever God decides is best?
God, where are you? How can you do this to me? I was good. I was faithful. I don’t deserve this. I am not doing this. DON’T MAKE ME DO THIS. Don’t let him die. Don’t let her die. Save me. If you save me from this, I will do whatever you want next time. DON’T MAKE ME DO THIS. God, there has to be a better way. How about this way?
No concession. No let thy will be done. No owning the life we were chosen to live, even if we too can be a savior of sorts in ways we will never truly comprehend.
But the gift came from following the plan, all of it. It was the only way.
So, I want to be like Jesus. I want to ask. I want to accept the answer, whatever that may be. I want to be brave and live what I must to make this world a better place. I see how my suffering has brought words to life, words that were buried under my way. I wanted it to stop, the loss, the heartache. But, if it had, would I be where I am now?
I asked God if there was another way.
He said no.
Thy will be done.