Good – like the word love – is oft-used and often not heard or said with impact.
Today is “Good Friday” — and oh, it is so, so good.
In a world of try harder, think more positively, go for your dreams, work more, and even more personal favorite, courtesy of The Secret, if you just think about it and focus intently on it – you’ll get it!
The good, good news is that none of that is actually good. Good does not equal personal glory. Good does not equal working more or thinking more positively or achieving more.
Good is this: Jesus suffered and died so you can live. It is totally NOT any of those things.
I wonder if we really understand that message. Pilate tried to understand. When he asked Jesus “What have you done?” Jesus responds: “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting that I might be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from this world.” (John 18:36).
How misunderstanding are we of this response? This is the GOOD, GOOD news.
The businessman who pursues nothing but more fame, more success, more money – the Good News is that Jesus’ kingdom is so much more.
The woman who obsesses about looks and body – the Good News is that Jesus came to liberate you from those obsessions.
The kid who can’t stop thinking about ways to up his/her popularity – the Good News is that you just don’t understand the kingdom.
The non-Christian who doesn’t understand Jesus – the Good News is that you don’t need to understand, you simply need to open your arms and embrace the realities of this alternative world.
The Christians who believe we should be at war – the Good News is that Jesus, even when facing certain death, commanded his followers to relinquish their swords and embraced his death.
On a day like today, I am thankful Jesus offers the way of the cross.
Whatever it is you are pursuing today, whatever way you are on, consider this: You will never find true and lasting satisfaction on the way of glory. Not positive thinking. Not hard work. Not more money. Not the messages of Joel Osteen and Oprah Winfrey.
While these may all contribute to a “happier” life at times and certainly there are truths to be gleaned from them, if these are your defining and ultimate life messages, this way, the way of glory, will not satisfy like the Good Good News of the Cross.
The question is: Are you trying to build your own way or embracing the good way of the cross?
Consider the words of Haggai:
“Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.” Haggai 1:7-9
May you come to see the alternative, radical message of the way of the cross. It may lie in ruins, but oh, is it so, so good…
Embrace the Good.