Friday, April 10, 2009

Get Real with God ~ Good Friday

A Story for Good Friday

I heard a story once about a father who was a drawbridge operator. Often he would bring his son to work with him. On one such day, while the father was in the booth working and the son was outside playing on the trusses of the bridge, an unexpected passenger train came barreling down the tracks. The father who was taken by surprise tried to get his son’s attention, to get him back in the office, but to no avail. He didn’t have enough time to run outside so the boy could hear him and there was no way to get the train to stop. He was faced with the most horrible dilemma…close the drawbridge on his son and save the hundreds of people on the train or save his son and send the people on the train to their deaths. With the impossible before him he closed the bridge and sacrificed his son for the lives of hundreds. Can you imagine….let it sink in… his place what do you imagine yourself doing….if you can imagine it at all without being sick.

When I first heard that story I was only a kid. I have no idea who told me or, for that matter, why they told such an awful story to a child, but it has stuck in my head to this day. Back then, I was saddened by the story, but now as an adult and a parent of three little boys of my own, I am horrified. I can’t imagine having to make that kind of decision. The strength that it would take to sacrifice my own child for anyone is more than I think I have.

I have no idea if this story is true, if it really happened….I hope not, but it does make me think about another story … I know is true. One where the Father really did sacrifice His ONLY Son as an atonement for us…for our sins.

As we approach Easter and the awesomeness of the resurrection, I find it impossible to pass Good Friday without remembering the sacrifice made by one Father and one Son.

Picture this story with me. Go there. Put yourself, as the parent. Imagine this is your son, the child of your heart. You have sent your only child to live in the world, to dwell with the people you created. Don’t forget you love the Son, He is you. You watch your Son love people, teach people, and heal people. You watch as he is tempted by Satan and overcomes evil. You watch the world treat your son badly and on that last day as he prays in the garden of Gethsemane and calls out to his Father, "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine (Mark 14:36)." you do nothing. His flesh cried out to be released from the suffering, but He knew as do you that He must suffer in order for all who call on His name to live. As the Romans capture Him, humiliate Him with taunts and cruel words, beat him until he is bloody and bruised beyond recognition and crucify him on the cross, you choose to stand back and let it happen. It was the plan, your plan….Romans 8:3 says, The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. This was no accident.

Imagine your reaction to watching your child being treated this way. To see him suffer. It is incomprehensible. I know my heart would break in two, if not a million tiny little pieces. It is easy to leave this part of the story out. To not think of this as a sacrifice of a Father as well as a Son, but remembering this makes the story more alive, more real because we know what it is like to be the parent. We can relate and in relating we are put in a right perspective. We are more able to feel the magnitude of what happened that day on the cross.

Of course we are not God and we do not have the ability to see the beginning and the end, but what we do know is that the love we have for our children does not even compare to, nor is it even in the same realm, as the love the Father has for us through his Son, Jesus. 1John 4:10 says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” So to prepare our hearts, we must remember that we deserve nothing but death. Our sins have made us unable to stand before our Heavenly Father on our own, but because of the great sacrificial death of His Son we are able to stand before Him, clean and forgiven.

Thank Him with me for this Easter “story.”


Lori Vernon said...

Thank for sharing. I too remember hearing that story as a child and was impacted greatly!

Our journey said...

Great post T! What an awesome reminder on this Good Friday.