I find it a bit odd we call today "Good Friday" when the day has nothing to do with being good. In fact, it has more to do with not being good enough than being good. I could spend my entire life working really hard to be "good" and I still would not spend my eternity in heaven. I almost feel like we should call the day "Not Good Enough Friday" because that's the entire reason why the day exists. That is the reason for the sacrifice. That is the reason for Jesus.
(Of course, you can look at the day as "good" because God is so good to us but for the sake of my Good Friday reflection...go with the "Not Good Enough Friday" mentality.)
Good is irrelevant. Jesus is all that matters. The gospel is that simple. God loves us but we are not pure enough for His Kingdom so a sacrifice had to occur. Jesus was that sacrifice. He will stand before us in front of God and we will enter His Kingdom. Whether I am "good" or "bad" is irrelevant. Whether I have Jesus on my side is All. That. Matters. Period.
I've been a Christian since I was a child but it wasn't until a couple of years ago that salvation clicked with me. I was listening to Mandisa's song "Not Guilty" and I got a glimpse of how standing before God will go. The lyrics are too powerful to summarize so here you go:
I stand accused
There's a list a mile long
Of all my sins
Of everything that I've done wrong
I'm so ashamed
There's nowhere left for me to hide
This is the day
I must answer for my life
My fate is in the Judge's hands
But then He turns to me and says
I know you
I love you
I gave My life to save you
Love paid the price for mercy
My verdict not guilty
How can it be?
I can't begin to comprehend
What kind of grace
Would take the place of all my sin?
I stand in awe
Now that I have been set free
And the tears well up as I look at that cross
'Cause it should have been me
My fate was in the nail scarred hands
He stretched them out for me and said
I'm falling on my knees to thank You
With everything I am I'll praise You
So grateful for the words I heard You say
My part is that easy. I just need to recognize no matter how hard I try I will never be good enough for the perfection God intended for us. I can try but I will never succeed. Let's start with the 10 commandments...just 10 small commandments. They are listed out in Exodus 20 and include: have no other gods before or bedside Me, do not make or worship other idols, do not take the Lord's name in vain (all that OMG'ing we've got going on...yeah that doesn't fly with the big man), keep the Sabbath day holy, honor your father and mother (I'm pretty sure I failed this yesterday when I got a bit cranky with my mom on the phone...sorry mom), do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not lie, and do not covet your neighbor. Okay so some of these I think I'll be good on...for example, I hope to resist murder in this life. However in God's eyes...murder and lying are on the same playing field. Sins aren't "ranked" as worst to best...there is no place for any sin in heaven. So basically...we are all screwed.
Enter Jesus. Because Jesus was sacrificed (to death) we can be in paradise. He literally will stand before God and represent us upon meeting our Maker. I find something so incredibly cool about that...Jesus is going to stand up for me. All I have to do is let Him.
So today, "Not Good Enough Friday", is the day we remember the sacrifice. Today is the day we remember the death that had to occur so we can have a chance at paradise. And although we celebrate the Risen King in just a few days...without the sacrifice there would be no reason to celebrate.
So Happy "Not So Good Friday". Get on board with Jesus because eternity in paradise is going to be one amazing place.
A Sacrifice, a Savior and a Friday,
I love the Oscars...I love the glitz and glam and fashion. I don't even watch all that many movies but I still enjoy watching the award shows (the same goes for the Grammy's!). My college roommates and I actually threw watch parties in college. However, I was beyond disappointed this year. It is unclear to me if Chris Rock or the Academy made it about race but thanks to his opening monologue, I couldn't even watch it. The opening monologue made me realize that we aren't over the whole white/black thing. As a society we keep bringing it up. We are keeping it alive. It is so sad.
I am absolutely against slavery or segregation...there's no sound argument to support either in my book. I hate that this is part of our country's history but I did not take part in it and I really have no intention of keeping that history alive. I don't see people in black and white...I just see people. I love culture and learning about people different than me but I believe this probably comes from my drive for a better perspective in this world. A let me define my use of "different" for you...anyone that looks, believes, acts or lives in a manner not the same as me.
This past year I watched the movie "The Butler" and was overwhelmed with emotion. (Although I'm not a member of "The Academy" and know absolutely nothing about awarding Oscars, I highly recommend it!) This movie helped me understand the sense of pride, accomplishment, and just an overall feeling of overcoming adversity people of African American decent felt when President Barack Obama was elected into office 8 years ago. That moment signified (or should have) overcoming a hurdle of our country's past. However, I can't help but feel over the last several years, our society has actually grown more racial divided. (Clarification...I'm not blaming Obama. I am blaming society - we own this.) Distinguishing white from black seems to be lingering in our vocabulary and I can't help but be disappointed in our entire society because of it. And while I can appreciate there are people in this world that are still racist, I have to hope these people are slowly becoming extinct. By way of the average life expectancy, in the next 20-30 years we should see no more living people that experienced regulated inequality through segregation. I really hope in 20 years we find ourselves living among people that don't see the world in black or white but that just see the world. So if sentiments of racism linger, we are the only ones to blame.
And I do believe anyone holding onto these sentiments, past, present and future will be held accountable before God. Our ancestors that participated in slavery have stood before God and were accountable for their behavior. Our relatives that were actively abusive to anyone during the civil rights battles of 1960s will be held accountable. In the Bible, we saw a ton of segregation based on both race and belief however it is clear we are all equal in Christ.
Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
I don't think the fact there were no black nominees had anything to do about race or opportunity. It had to do with good movies in 2015. When you watch a basketball game and there are no white men playing on a team...I don't think that's about race either. I think that is about talent. And for whatever reason, in that moment of time, at that basketball audition or draft, there were no white players that made the cut (by the way...is there even a basketball draft?). It's about making hoops not race. Just like this year, there were no movies or stars "Oscar - worthy" that included people of African American decent. And let's be honest, as a whole do we ever agree with what the Academy deems "Oscar-worth"? Sometimes they get it right and sometimes they are way off irregardless of race. Our society made it about race this year and for that I couldn't even watch it. (Although I am happy Leo won...I'm totally a #teamleo #itstartedwithromeoandjuliet fan.)
Racism, disappointment, and hope for a better day,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.