Good Friday: Oh, the blood of Jesus

On Wednesday night, I found an elderly neighbor lying on the concrete at the foot of the steps leading to his unit.

At first, I thought he’d just fallen and spent the entire 2 second walk over to where he was wondering what I needed to do. Should I move him? I asked myself silently. Probably not, I thought. Should I call 911? I wondered.

But when I got closer and saw that he had hit his head and was bleeding profusely, I knew the answer: keep him calm and call 911.

And later, when I got to choir rehearsal for our Good Friday service and Easter songs, it was the lyrics about blood that I couldn’t get past. Because every time we sang them, my mind flashed back to my neighbor lying on the concrete, a small pool of blood forming under his head.

His blood, bright on my own fingers.

A blood-stained towel.

Bright, red blood that gushed from his wound and came from a place of incredible pain.

And in those moments, Jesus’ blood on the cross became very real to me. It’s not that I didn’t get that He suffered and bled before; I did. But I see it in a new light. It isn’t the faded red blood of paintings or my mind’s eye when I picture the cross anymore. It’s that bright red pool of blood on the concrete. It isn’t a few drops of blood sliding down Jesus’ forehead when they thrust the crown of thorns onto His head anymore; it’s that gushing wound. It’s bright red blood that came from a place of incredible pain.

And incredible love.

Love that honestly, I just don’t get. Sometimes I think I do, but at Easter—and especially on Good Friday—I know I don’t. Because the love of Christ, God’s love, the love that propelled Jesus to the cross and the reason He endured extreme pain, humiliation, and injustice—that’s a love that overwhelms. It’s a love that rushes over you like a tidal wave. It’s a crazy love, a love that makes no sense, a love that requires nothing of the one who is loved and costs the Lover everything.

This Good Friday, I’m a little undone, as Isaiah the prophet would have said it. And my only response is prayer:

Thank you for the cross, Jesus. Thank you for your indescribable love. Hosanna! is my cry—God save me. Save me from myself, save me from my selfishness, save me from my sin. Thank You, Jesus, Savior, Messiah. Change my heart, Lord. And may my striving to be found worthy of your sacrifice cease as I seek to simply rest in your grace. I don’t deserve what you have done for me, yet You did it anyway. Thank You, Jesus. On this day, let me remember Your sacrifice and Your blood, but don’t let me miss the grace and hope You offer. I love You. Amen.

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