APRIL 7, 2023: “It Wasn’t The Nails”…

Two years ago this night, I made an entry entitled “Three Strikes And I’m In!” about what “this”, of all Fridays means to me. Well, since that night, not much has changed, other than to say that I’ve only grown stronger in my truly blind, if not ridiculous faith in Jesus.

Meanwhile, somewhere along the way, I stumbled upon this passage about the REAL “not so good” truth, but also, the REAL “OH, so GOOD truth” about “this” particular Friday, the author of whom is unknown to me. If, by the way, ANY of you out there seeing this right now do happen to know who wrote it, please message and let me know I can give them all due and proper credit:

He received 39 stripes because 40 was known to kill a man. They wanted him alive! They held handfuls of his beard, and hair and pulled it out by the roots. They wanted him alive! They kicked, punched, and spit on him for hours until there wasn’t a single spot on his body not covered in blood. They wanted him alive! They shoved a crown of thorns down on his head so harshly it stuck in his skin and skull. They wanted him alive! After hours of being beaten, mocked, whipped, flogged, and tortured, they made Him walk with a cross. They made Him carry it. A rough piece of wood with splinters digging into fresh wounds. They wanted him alive! They wanted Him to feel every ounce of pain they could bring. He HAD to feel it in order to heal us. Crucifixion was historically one of the cruelest most tortured deaths a human could face … hours upon hours of torture … torture most of us can not mentally think of because that kind of cruelty just isn’t normal and isn’t something our minds can comprehend. We celebrate Easter with pastel colors, happy children hunting eggs, and chocolate bunnies. The truth is that there was absolutely nothing happy about the day Jesus died. It was cruel, bloody, and nasty. He could have stopped all of it. He could have called every angel in Heaven to demolish every person standing and shouting “Crucify Him!” He didn’t. He knew that in order to have a Sunday, you have to have a Friday. He knew that in order to have joy, you have to carry your cross. He felt everything that day. He felt how your heart broke wide open when you had to watch your baby die. He felt how heavy your life was when you were staring down the barrel of a gun wondering if the man you call husband was going to shoot you. He carried the weight of the burden you have felt since your spouse died and life just doesn’t seem right anymore. On that cross, he held the rapists, murderers, sinners, and saints, leveling every playing field, and saying, “ALL of you are worth it!” He knew He had to carry the cross, but He never promised that the cross you’d have to carry in this life would not be heavy. HIS WASN’T! His promise is that Sunday is coming. No matter how heavy your Friday was today, be it financially, emotionally, mentally, or physically, such that the burden of that cross you bore all but crumbled and leveled you under its weight, His promise was simply this: He will never make you carry it alone. Now, tell me? What kind of king would step down from his throne for this? For me? For you? For this “humanity” we have become? Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God did! He did every bit of it for you and me. Oh, yes, it’s SO heavy to carry the crosses in our life that we sometimes think we can’t even take one more step with. But look up, my friends … because Sunday is coming!
{Author Unknown}

Most Bible scholars, as well as most “Jesus For Dummies” like me, hold that on “this” Friday 1,993 days ago, the blameless king and only Son Of God stepped down from His throne to take 39 stripes, three nails, and a crown of thorns into His skull for those who would claim His name. Even as strong as I am in my walk, I’m still not ever really sure exactly where to begin with what to say about the conversation I’ve played in my head so many times with anyone who cares to listen. But I do know this:

Sunday is coming!

No, really wasn’t the nails that held Him on that tree … it was His love for me. Three strikes … I’m STILL in … He STILL reigns deep inside every fiber of my being … and “this” Friday is always going to be the very first day of the greatest love story of my life.

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