I love Good Friday. In Tennessee at least, it's usually a peaceful, gentle sort of day--flowers are blooming, trees are flowering, birds are singing, and the weather is mild and calm. It's a good holiday.
Of course, it is only good because it was originally so bad. I don't clear to be original in that thought, but Good Friday must have seemed like a living hell to the Savior and the Father who was sacrificing him. In fact, the Savior faced Hell and all the fury it could unleash.
Because I can't comprehend all the suffering the Savior went through, I sometimes find my focusing on the more human elements of his torment that I can understand. I think of how tired he must have been from the agonies of Gethsemane, the trials and mockery, and the bearing of his cross. I think of how easily I get frazzled and irritable when I'm tired. I think of times I have been thirsty or felt abandoned.
I think of how angry I get when I try to do something nice for my students and they don't appreciate it, and then I wonder about the emotions Jesus felt as he sacrificed and suffered for the very people who were torturing him.
I think of the times I've battled with depression or physical pain and then try to magnify those to comprehend something of what the suffering in Gethsemane must have been like.
I watch the clock and think about how long six hours is--and cannot imagine how the Lord must have felt hanging on a cross for that length of time.
I try to understand the love that drove the gentle Christ to endure it, as well as the love that the Father had to allow it.
Good Friday must have been terrible for them, truly terrible. And had it ended there, it would have been. Happily, it was only the prologue to the triumphant miracle of the resurrection of Christ and the redemption of humanity and we understand that the intense suffering was necessary to generate the power behind the miracle.
If I understand it correctly, it is the resurrection that gives Christ the power to heal us, and that is what we celebrate on Easter. The resurrection broke the hold of death and sin and sealed the Savior's power to make us whole.
However, I wonder if it was his sufferings on Good Friday that gave him the empathy and compassion that motivate him to heal us.
The triumph of Easter Sunday celebrates his power, but to me, the tragedy of Good Friday must have taught him how to nurture and nourish us in our suffering.
He lives and loves us! And because of those twin truths he heals us from sorrow and sin and illness and ultimately, from death. I know that because I have felt his power and compassion as he has healed me.
When I wrote my book, I needed the lyrics for a song. Although I'm not a songwriter, I include them here because they express what I know and feel. I post them as my own personal expression of the twin miracles of Easter.
Sherrie Shepherd composed the music and played the piano, DeNae Handy wrote the Violin part and Veronica lent her beautiful voice. (It's the book trailer for my book--the only copy I have of the whole thing).
“He Healeth Me”
In life He healed the blind man,
His mercy touched the lame.
The leprous and the halt,
The deaf man and the dumb,
He healed all who came.
In pages of the scriptures,
Their stories testify
Of the Master’s love and power,
And sound this joyful cry
He healeth me.
He healed and blessed so many,
But that was long ago,
Today, I too have sorrow, sicknesses, and sin,
And wonder where to go.
Why doesn’t He still heal?
Why can I not be whole?
Will he not calm the tempest
That rages in my soul?
In my despair I waver,
My faith begins to shrink
Until from living water,
I humbly start to drink,
And then I see
He healeth me.
Across the years and miles,
I’ll find Him if I seek,
He’ll take away my burdens,
Give strength where I am weak.
He’ll comfort me in sorrow,
Heal sickness, cleanse my sin.
Now I can testify,
With all my grateful heart,
He healed me.
He truly healed me.
Braden Bell is the author of The Road Show. He is a husband, father, teacher, and director and blogs about all of the above at bradenbell.com.