A Good Friday Meditation

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

I failed to write up a post yesterday for Good Friday, since we were out all day at the Good Friday service at church, but the little time delay has given me a little moment to reflect, and put into words what I long to share. Yesterday, I felt God's presence gently reaching to my heart, filling me with peace and new strength, new courage, through hearing His Word being read in the Scripture passages on Christ's passion and sufferings, in the words of the sermon, and in the hymns of worship. Texts from the Gospels, Lamentations, and all the prophetic-passages speaking of the death of Christ, such as Ezekiel and Jeremiah, the Psalms... yes, it was truly beautiful! 

So far, this year has been a road paved with struggling with the things I cannot change in my life, with the burdens and trudgeries of things, wrestling with the Lord in my heart, trying to understand the changes heaped in my life, and learning to be thankful for all that He has given me. On facebook the other day, a friend shared a post-status that went like this: "And on the night He was betrayed He broke bread and lifted it up and gave thanks", and the poster went on to say how that if Christ gave thanks on the night He was betrayed... shouldn't we give thanks in all things? That hit home, as they say. I saw how I was forgetting... Calvary Love. I was forgetting, when strength is to be found in looking unto Him and His sufferings and wounds, by following in the steps of my Crucified and Risen Lord... 

For, He suffered and bled.
He was betrayed and received the kiss of a traitor.
He was stricken and smitten with stripes.
He was falsely accused.
He was forsaken by His disciples and followers. He was alone.
He endured the power of God's wrath... 
He cried 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' in the darkest hour of His passion....
For our sakes. He suffered it all, in love for us.
"If I covet any place on earth but the dust at the foot of the Cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love."
Amy Carmichael
And what Christ did for me is a challenge to live my life for Him totally, following that way of the cross too, denying myself and taking up the cross daily. To love Him and His People selflessly, joyfully, obediently. To hold unto the One who endured such ridicule from men, and sacrificed Himself for our salvation, and to walk with Him in the path of suffering. 

"To look at the Crucifix and then to look at our own hearts; to test by the cross the quality of our love – if we do that honestly and unflinchingly we don’t need any other self-examination. The lash, the crown of thorns, the mockery, the stripping, the nails – life has equivalents of all these for us and God asks a love for himself and his children which can accept and survive all that in the particular way in which it is offered to us. It is no use to talk in a large vague way about the love of God; here is its point of insertion in the world"- Evelyn Underhill

Lord, allow me to have that love for You which shirks not from bearing the cross, and following you the Narrow Way - because if you are there, Lord, where else can I go? Give me that courage to persevere and hold unto you in the times of comfort, and in the times of darkness. Let me know Your love, Lord, the Love of Calvary. 
This week, I was reminded of a poem I wrote many Easter's ago (I think it dates back in 2009, when I was 13 years old or so!), titled 'The Night of His Passion', which basically tells of Jesus' sufferings for our sakes. I cannot say it is in very good form, or meter. But I hope you will be blessed in some small way through it despite its roughness. So, I thought to share it here, today....

The Night of His Passion

One night, I entered a garden.
In the groves, I saw Him.
His agony surged anew to the brim.
That Divine and sacred sigh,
 Wasn’t a bitter ‘why?’
But a cry for the removal of the Cup;
He bore it on that night of His last Sup.
Oh, His sweat poured thick like blood...
 It did the earthly soil flood.
It was the night of His Passion!

“My Father,” he with many tears wept,
“Let this cup pass from me.
“Oh Holy Father, Your Will have I kept!
“But let your will be.”
By His tears, He conquered.
And His Father above heard,
Sending an angel to my Lord
To give Him a strengthening word.
It was the night of His Passion!

He, from prison, they took.
His cowardly friends
Him, they forsook
Yea, all forsook like fiends
Leaving the Lamb of God alone
However, the Father was with Him.
His love to us he has shown.
He has become our closest kin.
Yet remember, what it cost God’s own Son
On the night of His Passion!

The Jews cried ‘Crucify!’
Not heeding His forgiving cry
Pilate, his hands washed
His conscious, he hushed.
I wept for the pain He was feeling
When for my healing
My Redeemer was scourged,
His blood for me was freely poured
It was the hour of His Passion!

Therefore, to the Cross Jesus went
His sacred Life on me He spent
He took my burden from the garden
To buy by His sufferings my pardon
Even to the cruel Calvary Cross-
Where he purged my dross
It was the hour of His Passion!

Alone He hung on the Tree
I didn’t know, He did it for me
He said not a word
Even in the deepest pains,
To those who seized the sword
And by His anguish,
He cleansed my stains
It was the hour of His Passion!

From the Cross-, I heard an expiring cry
God incarnate doomed to die!
His sacred body was wounded
The mockers around His Cross
Cruelly surrounded
They, His only crown, did scorn
Yea, for it was a crown of thorn
It was the hour of His Passion!

He, even in dread pain,
When seeing a thief’s stain
Forgave that sinner on his side
Saying he would be with Him
In Paradise on that Easter tide
His love, in His Passion,
Flowed to others
Aye, to us- beggars
It was the hour of His Passion!

For my sake, His holy hand
Which made cripples stand
Was with cruel nails pierced
For my sake, His gentle meekness
Was by the crowd mocked
And measured as weakness
For my sake, they crucified Him
And with a crown of thorn
His kingly head, did they adorn.
For my sake
Atonement did Christ make
In the hour of His Passion!

To His people, not to me only
Though He was in agony
He cried, “Father, forgive!”
And by His death, we now live.

In a tomb He lay
But on the Third Day
He from the sepulcher arose!
To His followers Himself He shows
Oh, ye Saints, wipe away your tears!
For by His sacred Passion,
He has wiped away all our sin
And with it, all fears,
But, remember His pains
That washed our stains

Remember the night of His Passion!

-poem written 2009 by Joy C.-

Happy Easter!