This post was written for Kate Motoung’s #FiveMinuteFriday Link-Up on the prompt: Alive
Today is Good Friday. Perhaps strangely, this day of all days in the Christian calendar, brings me great comfort. We love to celebrate the resurrection, but Christ’s suffering and death upon the Cross is something many would prefer to water down and make more comfortable to digest. And yet, it is this act of Love that births our greatest freedom and reveals God’s Presence, Power, Comfort and Life precisely in the suffering, yearning and dying of our earthly bodies. For the One well acquainted with suffering has entered our deepest physical, emotional and psychological oppression and carries the weight of the burdens, we could never carry alone.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible comes from 2 Corinthians 4: 3 – 17 (NIV):
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clayto show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[b] Since we have that same spirit of[c] faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the deadwill also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
We are ALIVE in His Strength, though we feel our perishing, aching bodies press us down. We are ALIVE in His Comfort, though we look suffering in the eye. We are ALIVE in His Hope, though we watch our loved ones’ bodies and minds perish before us. We are ALIVE in His grace, though the hurt and suffering we have inflicted upon others in our sin is grave. We are ALIVE in His actions of Love, though our strength is zapped and our emotions incomprehensibly crippling. For “life is at work in” us, moving into the perishing flesh to birth the Hope of Glory, a sure and steadfast Hope that will not disappoint.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
(Hebrews 10: 19 – 25, NIV)
Let us live, move and have our being in this Powerful Love, a Love that burns within us lighting the path through the valley of the shadow of death. Let’s lean into His arms, so that He might breathe in His Life. Let us walk, His heart beating palpably in our perishing, yearning and suffering bodies, ALIVE toward the glorious inheritance that awaits us:
I’ll convert their weeping into laughter, lavishing comfort, invading their grief with joy. (Jeremiah 31: (10-14), MSG).