Good Friday Takeaway

April 14, 2017

Suddenly and without warning - the amber alert echoed through the sanctuary - nearly every phone coming alive with the beeping, buzzing, and alarms alerting us that someone had gone missing.  It was a call to prayer. Let the children be found. The timing was sound; indeed, someone had gone missing. 

 

Waking up this morning, it was a relief to hear that the lost had been located and yet...there is a stillness  and a sadness over each person who encountered the crucifixion that night.  It is a beautiful day and yet...there is death and mourning in the air.  Our hope has been brutally and publicly shamed, beaten, and killed.  The One we trust, follow, obey, and rely on - He is dead.  Our joy is missing. The ultimate amber alert.   But what is this?  The world  is holding its breath. There is a overwhelming stillness and expectancy...What, exactly, are we waiting for? 

 

April 14th, 2017, through a well-worded sermon, communion, and altar call,  I found myself transported to the foot of the cross.  My shoulders tense, I listened to the details unfold of a story I've heard a thousand times, recounted in a way that I could not possibly avoid the shock. The sights and sounds of that day were placed  gently before me and although I tried to avert my eyes and to cover my ears...the sting of reality could not get past my senses.  The description of the whip -many straps coming from the one, with pieces of sharp bone and jagged metal tied to each end...created not just to hit or a produce sting; but a device meant to grab at the flesh and rip it away as it was pulled back.  The exposed bone, as close to death as possible, glinting in the sun before  the innocent was hung on the cross.

 

WSH.  WSH.  WSH.  the sounds of the hammer, held by a man whose own atoms were held together by the One who he was torturing.  WSH.  WSH.  WSH.  every sound,  every swing of the tool reverberated through my soul. I could not look away - the breath of my Savior being taken away with each whip, with each nail driven in..with each loud cry from those who, just a few days prior, had loved Him.  'CRUCIFY HIM!, they now yell.

 

Why? I ask.  But it had to happen.  I am like a child who is clenching his hand into a fist - his arm stuck in an expensive vase -  holding a useless nickel, unwilling to let go...the vase must be broken to free the boy...the body must be broken; in order for us to be free and in order for us to see what is truly valuable.

 

So now we wait.  Our church, our city, our state, our country...the Earth...the Universe . We all wait with great expectation.  Death is not the end with this one. Oh, no.  the cross will never be looked at the same.  With my mind on His death, my own breath tired and labored, I go to bed.  I am waiting for morning. 

 


{Click here to listen to the whole sermon or visit our website at www.calvaryhampton.org/listen}

 

 

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