“Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” – John 19: 30
It is Good Friday; a somber day of remembrance. We remember Jesus’ death; death on a cross. We reflect on images of his beating, trial, journey to the cross, and crucifixion. We remember his sacrifice that paved the way for restored relationship with God; paved and paid with his blood.
I want to share three things with you today:
- A poem I wrote about Jesus’ death when I was 19
- A song that always draws me to the foot of the cross, “Grace Flows Down,” sung by Christy Nockels
- The grace available to all because of Jesus’ sacrificial death. I encourage you to read all of John 19 today and reflect on Jesus’ last day.
I Was There
Did you see that man coming down the street?
My friends were laughing at him.
He left drops of blood in his trail as they marched him away.
As he passed my door, though obviously in much pain
He managed to look my way.
My eyes were held for only a brief moment by this mysterious man,
But in that time I knew he was not one who deserved this punishment.
His eyes were full of love.
In the midst of his great suffering, he took the time to see me,
So as he passed I could do nothing but think to follow him.
I slipped along beside the crowd,
As most were shouting with words of anger and hatred.
Yet, some were weeping and I knew that he was loved.
Not knowing why I followed or who this quiet man really was,
I only knew he had reached me deep inside with just a look.
We came upon the spot where all the criminals hung
But I knew he shouldn’t die with them,
A tragedy had begun.
I watched in silent terror as they nailed him to that cross,
I saw his anguished face and heard his merciful cries.
I gathered closer to those that wept for him,
And heard their broken-hearted sobs.
I knew that he was all to them,
And wondered why he was so beloved.
Then they hoisted the wooden cross aloft and his blood ran down its sides,
And from his head where that thorny crown lay, it ran into his eyes.
The mocking grew worse but he simply lay there crying.
As the hours passed my longing to know who he was grew more,
But just as I approached his followers the sky began to darken.
I could see his breaths coming in short rasps as he uttered his last words.
Fear filled my heart but I could not turn away,
I looked upon his broken image as he looked towards the sky.
I could hear those words as if he were right next to me,
He was dying there and yet he still asked forgiveness for people like me.
Then the earth did shake and he was gone, only a limp body remained.
The crowd trembled with terror, some realizing what they had done,
For in that instant as he slipped away there was no doubt just who He was.
He had told us many times before but we had simply passed Him by,
When all He ever wanted was to share the love He daily lived;
The love that would bring everlasting life.
I saw it in His eyes when He passed my door that day,
And I felt it deep within my soul as I watched the Son of God pass away.
“6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us.”
-Ephesians 1: 6-8
May you find grace flowing down to you this Good Friday and beyond.