Good Friday: The Original Freedom Friday

It’s Freedom Friday. It also happens to be the day many in the church celebrate Good Friday.

I wrote this on Good Friday of 2009 in my paper journal:

It’s Good Friday & I’m 8 weeks pregnant.

Today is a bittersweet day. This is my 3rd pregnancy. My 1st pregnancy was relatively smooth and resulted in my beautiful son, Bear. We always hoped to have many children. Being that I was 32 at Bear’s birth, we only waited just over a year before trying to have another. After less than a month, we found out on our 6th anniversary that I was pregnant again- with a baby we called Bunny Boo.

At 8 weeks pregnant, Bunny boo was lost by miscarriage.

I was pregnant again 2 months later with Monkey. I felt peace about my 3rd pregnancy, but felt bittersweet relief when I arrived at 8 weeks.

If I hadn’t lost Bunny Boo, we wouldn’t have been celebrating 8 weeks of pregnancy with Monkey this Good Friday.

How appropriate! This weekend, whether you call it Easter, Good Friday, Resurrection Sunday or Pascha, is also bittersweet. On Good Friday, we can celebrate and reflect because we know the end of the story. We can mourn as the disciples mourned as they watched their leader be arrested, led away, flogged, taunted, punished and murdered by crucifixion. We mourn that our sin put Him through all that. Yet we rejoice in knowing that because of God’s love, He made it possible for us to have abundant & eternal life.

Thankfully, my 3rd pregnancy has a happy ending as well. I have a cute little Monkey, 17 months old, running around the yard as we speak 🙂

That doesn’t erase the pain of the bittersweet reality of Monkey’s pregnancy and Bunny Boo’s loss.

We also know the end of the story we are celebrating today. Just like my 3 pregnancies, Easter does not erase the bittersweet reality of Good Friday. So before before we rush on to the Resurrection, let’s sit here for a minute.

As I type this, the 100 Portraits song, “Around my Neck“, plays on my iTunes. An amazing song. I’ll let it speak for itself.

The cross I wear around my neck
What does it mean if it does not mean death.
Please tell me if it doesn’t mean blood,
or nails, or crying or loneliness?

The cross I wear around my neck
What is if for, if it is not for breaking
And if it’s not for pain, or nakedness, or hammering?

The cross I wear around my neck
is being raised above my head
I think this time it’s wearing someone else
I see it drop into the ground and when it falls
I hear the sound, someone crying, “I love you!”

The cross I wear around my neck
What does it mean, if it does not mean love.
Please tell me if it doesn’t sing of hope and healing,
and forgiveness?

The cross I wear around my neck
Who is it for if it is not for me, if it’s not for sin,
and all my searching for the innocence?

The cross I wear around my neck
is being raised above my head
I think this time it’s wearing someone else
I see it drop into the ground and when it falls
I hear the sound, someone crying, “I love you!

The cross I wear around my neck
is being raised above my head
I think this time it¹s wearing someone else
I see it drop into the ground and when it falls
I hear the sound someone screaming, “I love you!”

The cross I wear around my neck
Who is it for, if it is not for us:
the lame, the blind, the ones held captive,
and the fatherless?

What is the message of Good Friday? It’s a message of surrender. Imagine if Jesus had chosen to follow His feelings & desires in the Garden that day. Where would we be? It’s a message of suffering. And it’s a message of hope, abundant life and mercies new every morning.

The message of the cross is the Father God crying out to a broken world, “I love you and I am willing to do whatever it takes to hold you in my arms, love you, heal you. I’m willing to give up everything I have, my Only Son, that you all may have the opportunity to be called my sons & daughters, that You no longer have to live in bondage.”

“Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.” Isaiah 53

We have freedom in Christ because Jesus did not use His own freedom to choose to step outside God’s will. He instead chose to step right into His Jordan for you and for me.

How then should we respond? Take a moment to be silent. What would God have you do in response?

I challenge you today to respond with that same level of surrender. My prayer is that you, and I, will make the same declaration of trust, that we will take the next step toward living in the fullness of abundant freedom that is available to all believers.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Amen.

2 thoughts on “Good Friday: The Original Freedom Friday

  1. The universe is not big enough to show sufficient gratitude for what Jesus did. The enormity of his gift is simply overwhelming. The silence is an appropriate response.

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