In the last couple of years, I’ve seen a Good Friday trend that troubles me. It tends to come with a reading of the crucifixion of Christ, dimmed lights, and the wailing of people moved by their sin.
Read that line again. People moved by their sin. I say that knowing that in my own heart at such services, there is a sinful temptation to take on everything I’ve ever done “wrong” and feel guilty that it’s because of me that Jesus died. I find no Biblical basis for mourning over our sins once Christ has redeemed us, or for taking back our sins and guilt from the foot of the cross so that we can have a spiritual experience all over again. Surely sin is to be avoided, hated, and condemned.
Let me be clear: there is a space for mourning, grieving, and sorrow. In this world we will have trouble, and we will suffer, the Bible tells us so. But sin is not worth wailing over or mourning for because Jesus has conquered it. He defeats us, His Spirit indwells us, so onward and forward we look to our Lord and waste no time on our selfish obsession with what we have and haven’t done.
In faith we ask forgiveness and repent. Focusing on our depravity is hardly connected to what our faith is founded on: God revealed in His son, Jesus Christ, who is with us. Our redeemer lives!
What a mistake we make when we look more to our faith –or lack thereof- than to His faithfulness.
All sorts of folly devolves from this perspective, causing our feet to slip on His path of righteousness. For example,
1). We treat sin as if it is merely making mistakes….
Turning God into a harsh, petty, ungracious entity.
2). We border on thinking that God was mistaken to send Jesus to die…
Forcing ourselves to create false theories for the atonement.
3). We misplace all emphasis on the cross…
Neglecting the necessity of the resurrection.
4). We use our guilt as a tool for redemption…
Backwardly believing that we are now more worthy of salvation.
5). We make Jesus a means to our ends…
Setting ourselves on His throne, but in His name.
“For the wages of sin is death”, says Paul in Romans 6:23.
In John 15:22 we read that we “now have no excuse for our sin”.
Further, we are made to understand that “while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us” -Romans 5:8.
This was because “He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice
for our sins” -1 John 4:10.
We must make no mistake about who God is when we remember His sacrifice!
Our God is faithful and has never failed those who seek His face. Even those who seek His face are unworthy. All have fallen short of His glory! Yet He has never left us or forsaken us. In all things, He has remained. From the beginning of time, He has promised to redeem us solely because He is good. His mercy has kept us from getting what we deserve –hell. And His grace has freely established us in the place of His favor, though we don’t deserve it –transformed by Jesus Christ.
Our God is just. He doesn’t change His mind about what we deserve or give anyone a free pass, but rather sent His son to be the ultimate sacrifice, once and for all, that we could be washed in His blood and have new life. Someone had to appease the wrath of the God who is righteous. That God chose to provide for us this lamb, at great cost, is evidence of His unimaginably loving, compassionate character.
Our God is worthy of praise. As we look at the cross and marvel at what He did for us, let us worship Him. Sin can be confronted. It ought to be. The reality of the fallen nature of this world and humanity are an important aspect of recognizing the opposing nature of Christ, in all His glory.