Taste of Good Friday…

Posted: 03/31/2016 in Uncategorized

One of my favorite things we do each year is our Good Friday Experience.

Here is a taste of some of the stations this year:

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My heart began to race as I drank of Your blood and again I felt the sleep wash over me like a flood.
  Blessed and anointed I stepped out in Your name. Blinded I thought I carried purpose like a flame.
I’m struck deaf and dumb, alone amongst the olives. How could I have just given up the Lamb without     blemish, spotless?
I thought I’d be the one to spring the trap. That Knowing look in Your eye as You handed me the cup.
Bearer of Your shining light it’s all been building to this. How was I so blind?
Realization has pulled the veil from my eyes. Sleep has given way to cold sobriety. Now I finally see that Your purpose wasn’t revolution Rather, unconditional, loving inclusion.
 I watched The Rock sheath his weapon and an Empathetic hand on the head of the Roman. I don’t want their tainted money. That was never the motivation. My spring on the latch, failed midnight incursion I thought I knew The Word, heeded Your lessons, but my pride has left me in ruins.
How was I so Blind? How did I miss it?
Prompt:
As Humans we often relate to Judas’ story more than other Bible characters because we choose other things over Jesus all the time. After you read through Judas’ thoughts what are some things that you choose over the presence and voice of Jesus? And as you hold on to the small bag of coins, think about how you can let those things go to let the reality of who Jesus is in your life take over!

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He met me on my way… And I’ll never be the same.
I was simply minding my own business and was only planning on being in Jerusalem for a few days. I wasn’t even sure why the crowd was gathered. Then, there He was. Ragged, completely spent and falling over.  The crowd was making me late for an appointment so I tried to navigate across the street when the unthinkable happened. For a second, I thought may be I was being arrested, but instead I found myself under this mans cross, my shoulder instantly soaked by His blood.
After a few feet I was finally able to decipher what the Crowd was shouting! “King of the Jews” “Son of God” “Immanuel.” While some mocked others were weeping, crying out his name desperately ‘Jesus, Jesus.’ What kind of man was this! Someone polarizing, someone influential.
By the time I took my last step, my clothes were dirty and bloodied, my feet were raw and my back was sore. My arms were covered with saliva that some of the crowd gathered hurled at me thinking I was him.
As I stood there, the reality of who this man claimed to be started to become more clear. If this is actually the God Man like all of his followers say, then he might have known that I’d help carry His cross. He must have known the soldiers would choose me. .
The more I think about it, the more confident that I become that our encounter, as short as it was, was on purpose. He met me on his way and asked me to walk alongside of him to fulfill his plan. He invited me, Simon, a simple man who never stands out from the crowd to a life full of Him… And I cannot help to think that maybe this call is for everyone?
Prompt:
Somewhere along the path of Simon’s life, Jesus and the Cross got in His way. Take a moment to think about the time where the God Man met you and reflect on the potential purpose He has for you. Also take a second to pray and what does his ability to have a relationship with me do to change my life when I least expect it? Also, take an Invitation to carry Jesus’ Cross in your life and use it as a reminder to ask God every single time you see the invitation, what he has planned for you that day!

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Have I been wrong this whole time? Wasn’t it the Angel of the Lord that came to my room in the middle of the night all those years ago? Didn’t he say that I would birth the Son of God? That I would raise Jesus, Immanuel, God with us? And now this. My son, my little boy made bloody by whips and crucified like a      common thief.
But there is nothing common about My Son!
I watched Him heal the wounded, save the lost and mend the broken hearted. He gave the blind their sight back. He fought for justice, spoke lovingly and spent time with the least of these. I saw Him reach out his hand and touch the unclean without judgment or fear.
Oh, this crushing, searing and torturous pain that I would never wish upon any Mother. I cannot even bear to look at my own Son’s face, I can barely recognize Him, this grief, His blood. I cannot bear it any longer…
But I will hold onto His promise…
The same one that I have been holding onto for 30 years. It is the only thing I have left. I will continue to believe that my Son is who He says He is. And I will hold onto the Hope that maybe there is more going on, that maybe this is another one of my Sons miracles…
And if he took water and transformed it into wine what is He going to do with His blood?
Prompt:
Jesus asks His disciples at the end of His life to take a piece of Bread and eat it in remembrance of His Body that was beaten and to take a drink of wine to remember His Blood poured out for us. This sacrificial act, Jesus used His sacrifice, His blood and body to pave a road from us to the Father. As we remember his sacrifice tonight, take a piece of bread and a cup of juice and reflect. Thank Him for what He did, and if you don’t already know who Jesus is, ask Him to reveal himself to you.

 

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His head, His feet– they look so different from the last time I saw Him. Beaten and bruised, covered in crimson. My Friend hanging there like a rag doll… I still smell the perfume I poured out over Him. I remember the sweet smell like I remember the sweet time He and I spent together over the years. The way He loved and cared for me and actually listened to my heart. The way he brought Joy and Comfort to our family when my brother was dead. The way His heart broke when I wasn’t OK. I cannot help to think that in some way, this isn’t how our friendship ends.
I cannot shake, even in all this brokenness, a hope that is rooting itself deep inside my chest.
Maybe this is the beginning of something deeper. Maybe this is on purpose. Maybe He is doing this for us so that we will never be without Him. Maybe this is, at the end of it all, because God loves us so much that he cannot bear to be without us any longer.
No, death doesn’t win. Our friendship isn’t over… Oh God, your love has no end!
 Prompt:
The Cross is the beginning of God’s redemptive plan for all of mankind. Certainly his Grace and love extends to all of us. But have you ever thought that He loves you… individually? That He wants to be more than your savior, He wants to be your friend? That Ultimately the Cross was because of His great Love for us… for you.
Take a moment to reflect on How much Jesus loves you… If you feel comfortable, ask Him how much he loves you and give Him the space and time to answer!

Thanks to Jer, Dylan, Felicia, Jordan, Jess, Kelsey, Cass, and the crew for putting together this incredible experience for us!

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