Our Dear Readers,
This post will build off the last one—my main point in that post being:
“The fruit of disobedience is death”
(see last post if you want “What is the question?”)
It is fitting that it is Friday—even the 13th perhaps—because I will be reflecting on Good Friday.
The consensus among us, the American working class, is that Fridays are indeed good. In fact, some people even thank God for Fridays. In related news, dogs who wear matching accessories might be learning this from their humans too.
It is remarkable that even restaurants have named themselves in honor of this weekly act of thanksgiving. Before I inadvertently begin advertising for restaurateurs, I will . . . beep de mee beeeeeeeeep meeedo lumpa grumpa DING!
Our Dear Readers,
It is now hundreds of years BC and we are in the Kingdom of Judah, and for some reason, I am still writing in English. Are you still reading in English? Latin? Hebrew?
Isaiah, a prophet of the Most High, is preaching. Even if you think he is crazy (or you think I am crazy), come listen to him for a minute. Check it out!
Isaiah cries out something like:
“Indeed, who would ever believe it?
Who would possibly accept what we’ve been told?
Who has witnessed the awesome power and plan of the Eternal in action?
Out of emptiness he came, like a tender shoot from the rock-hard ground.
He didn’t look like anything or anyone of consequence—
He had no physical beauty to attract our attention.
So he was despised and forsaken by men, this man of suffering, grief’s patient friend.
As if he was a person to avoid, we looked the other way;
He was despised, forsaken, and we took no notice of him.
Yet it was our suffering he carried, our pain and distress, our sick-to-the-soul-ness.
We just figured that God had rejected him, that God was the reason he hurt so badly.
But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so.
Our wrong doing wounded and crushed him.
He endured the breaking that made us whole
The injuries he suffered became our healing. . .”
Jesus is the ultimate champion of obedience even though he was far from successful in the world’s eyes. As Paul, or Saul of Tarsus, addressed Students-who-do-too of Jesus,
“He humbled Himself, obedient to death—a merciless death on the cross.”
And again to followers of Jesus:
“But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed his powerful love to us in a tangible display–the Anointed One died for us. As a result, the blood of Jesus has made us right with God now, and certainly we will be rescued by Him from God’s wrath in the future.”
He died the death of a criminal well before even being able to celebrate being “over the hill”; He died on that hill, naked and mocked, the wrath of the Almighty poured out on him. He was cursed, his lifeless body hanging from a tree.
Mysteriously, Jesus has invited us to die with him and commanded his disciples to teach this to all peoples.
Jesus said something like:
“If any of you want to walk My path, you’re going to have to deny yourself. You’ll have to take up your cross every day and follow Me. If you try to avoid danger and risk, then you’ll lose everything. If you let go of your life and risk all for My sake, then your life will be rescued . . . Listen, what good does it do you if you gain everything–if the whole world is in your pocket–but then your whole life slips through your fingers and is lost to you.”