I always feel a stirring in my heart during Holy week. The weight of a heavy shadow hovers over me, as I reflect on the torturing assault Christ endured on that fateful day. I find myself submerged in the account of Christ’s agonizing approach to the cross…
Good Friday is here.
Luke 23:33-43 ESV
And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” …
John 19:30 ESV
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Christ’s sacrifice on the cross brings believers to their knees, bowing their heads in mourning while offering up their hearts for His Merciful cleansing. God’s greatest gift to His children, the sacrifice of His beloved Son.
Christ died for me.
For every single human being.
If there’s one thing I believe more than anything about Jesus, it’s this:
He loves and longs for every last one of us…
Christ does not discriminate.
Despite His distorted reputation.
He came for us all.
Romans 5:8 (ESV)
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
While we are still sinners, Christ’s Crucifixion remains God’s ultimate offering, so that we may once again unite with our Heavenly Father and receive His eternal grace.
What does that mean to you?
Perhaps you have opened your heart to accept His merciful gift, in order to live a life of faith, daily surrendering to His Purpose, His Plan, His Power.
Do you give Him all of you? Or do you hold some things back?
Do we trust that even our hardest parts, our darkest moments, our deepest pains can be handed over to our Almighty Savior, knowing “…that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose?” (Romans 8:28)
As a Christian, I want to honor Christ’s Crucifixion, by digging deep within to search for buried broken pieces that I have somehow preserved in my own human grip. I need to take inventory of my actions, my thoughts, my history, my dreams, and my heartaches, to make sure I truly laid them at the foot of the cross. I must honestly search for those things I once gave my Savior, but inevitably took back, attempting to manage it alone. Oh, the list is long in what defines me, my circumstances, and my life.
I quite possibly missed a few things.
Sometimes, we hold things back, even take things back. Grasping particulars tightly, instead of placing them into the outstretched arms of our Savior. If we accept that He gave His all on the cross, do we honor it by giving Him all of us?
What holds us back?
Fear of what our Lord may think of us, afraid of letting go of something that is a stronghold in our lives. Who wants to give up control on anything that is hurtful, precious, vulnerable, traumatic or confusing? It’s scary to let go…
Do we really believe that God will deliver us, heal us, guide us, protect us, take care of us, and love us through the hardest parts of our lives? Do we trust that our God has that kind of power? What if His way isn’t our way?
Our distractions may be our biggest barrier to the Cross. Who isn’t busy? Overworked, overwhelmed, and over scheduled… Life is often chaotic and over stimulating… The reality is that many often forget to pray at all, let alone deeply dive into soul searching and surrendering the details of our lives to the Lord.
Don’t we all just want to do things our own way? It’s our innate desire to make our own choices and take care of our own issues without anyone’s input or help. We are naturally designed to instinctively take what is ours, and protect what is ours… and never give it away. We can handle things on our own, right? No need for allowing the LORD to see it all, take it all, carry it all…
I think this is where the ‘taking it back’ comes in, because how often do we give a piece of our lives to be ‘fixed’ and ‘cleaned up’ and then decide the time is up for renovations, the limit was set and God didn’t deliver? God didn’t heal fast enough, transform the ‘right way’, or resolve this conflict or manage that crisis in a timely fashion. Perhaps a stronghold is still holding strong…
Do you have pieces of your life buried behind your faith? Do you hand-pick what you give to God and hold the rest back? If so, are these reasons resonating with you?
They are with me.
And yet, I know that God can’t work in our lives, if we don’t let Him.
We may be afraid to reveal hidden parts of ourselves and we may doubt He can work miracles on it all. We may be so busy we forget we have an Almighty Power just waiting for our invitation. We may think we got it covered, or even worse, dismiss His Presence as ineffective.
Guilty as charged.
And yet? The strongest wall I’ve discovered that keeps me from the cross is the idea that I am not worthy of it.
Over and over again, I must be reminded that Christ’s Crucifixion was for me. Little ol’ me. And if I don’t take that to my heart and offer it ALL to Him…
I’m dishonoring the very act of His Crucifixion.
So I go…
To the cross…
With it all.
And His arms are wide open.
Awaiting my offering.
He waits for yours too.
What will you lay at the foot of the cross?
He wants it all.
Janine Huldie says
Aw, beautiful Chris and as thanks for the reminder of the real reason of the season. Truly appreciate more than you know.
Thanks for reading this, my friend and soaking it all in. I hope you had a beautiful Easter with your precious family!!
Lynn J Simpson says
Beautifully written Christine. I’m still a girl trying to figure out this total surrender to Him who died for us, out of love. A complete sacrifice. And to completely believe I am worthy of it all without having to ‘prove’ that worth, and let go of having to get my identity from my flesh desire of approval of others. So true, that if I don’t believe in His love for me, I’m dishonoring what He did! Happy Easter, beautiful sister in Christ!
Ah, Lynn… Reading all you struggle with hits home for me too. It’s a constant continuation of surrender and trying to peel more layers back each day, isn’t it? Aren’t we blessed to have a God who pours grace over us as we try to let go of us and cling to Him? I pray you were able to be at peace this Easter, my friend. I’m still praying for you… <3
Happy Easter, Chris! I have really tried this year to ponder and think about this Holy Week and what it must have been like. Last night, I prepared a “last supper” and we watched some great videos and discussed with all the kids the significance of the events. It was awesome and I look forward to doing more remembering and pondering. Here’s a sample: https://www.lds.org/bible-videos/videos/the-last-supper?lang=eng
OH Leah, you are an inspiration to me! I just love how you parent your children- so much intention behind so many things you do with your kids! I’ll check out the sample you shared. Thank you, friend! I hope you are doing well!
Allie @ The lathckey Mom says
Good Friday has always been important to me. When I was a child, we always had the day off from school (we lived in Massachusetts). After we moved to Florida, I was surprised that it was treated as any other day. Even here in Georgia – my kids are at school today. My traditional seafood boil is canceled, because one child is at the Count Track Championships till 9:00p.m. (really???), and my daughter has dress rehearsal for her school musical until 8:00p.m.) I’m shocked that they’re both school sponsored events, and they have the kids required to be present.
That is really incredible, Allie. Sigh… We were off of school, and I don’t believe that was for Good Friday, but we got lucky that spring break started on that day. Now school’s don’t honor this as a holiday. It’s a shame really. Especially school events in the evening, sounds a bit too much. I’m sorry you couldn’t honor it as you would have liked!
This was so wonderful today because I did not get out to our Good Friday service. Three kids at home, a spouse at work and an ice storm just did not make it possible.
Amazing love right?
I love how a visiting Pastor once described the awesome extent of God’s love for us. He said, “I love people so so much. God put a love and compassion in my heart for the people of this world. So great it is that I would willingly take a bullet for anyone here. I’d take a bullet for your child. No hesitation — I’d gladly give my life as sacrifice to save someone; without regret. But you know what I would NOT to do? Give any one of my children to save you. Sorry – you’re dead. I don’t love you that much. Not for my child to pay the price for you. But God did. Without regret. And Jesus went willingly.”
Wow. When you say it like THAT?! So powerful.
WOW WOW WOW Leslie!! That IS so powerful. Amazing love indeed. Our old church had the most incredible Good Friday service… I miss it. 🙁 We didn’t go to one either. I do hope you had a beautiful and BLESSED Easter celebration, my friend. XOXO
Christine you nailed this!! Absolutely stunning! I am writing next week’s blog on radical surrender and your words dig deep into this, articulating our resistances and yearnings so beautifully. In would love to quote tou and link to this ..I also am so grateful you honor Holy week..I stopped going to church a while back due to the legalism..and havent found a churcg..so I have been feeling detached from Holy week until I read this. What a gift!!
Oh my beloved friend, I would be incredibly HONORED if you shared anything of mine!
I’m sorry you had to deal with legalism and haven’t found a church yet. My church closed last summer, and we still haven’t landed in a church home. It is very difficult in so many ways, and I too, feel detached. I’m just so glad you found this encouraging and nourishing, my friend! Oh, that just brings me so much joy! 🙂
All of the above, plus, plus, plus. *sigh* Today laziness as well.
Laziness, or healing and resting and allowing yourself to be still? You KNOW I should ask myself the same question, lovey. 🙂 I do pray you are feeling WELL today- on every level. I will check in tomorrow!
Andrea Stunz says
I think you’ve been reading my email. 🙂 So much to think about here. Thank you for taking me deeper and encouraging me to let go.
Aw! Thank you for reading this and I’m so glad you found encouragement in this post, Andrea. Letting go can be so difficult. I know…
Julie Jo Severson says
Chris, I woke up this morning, the day after Easter, wanting to go to the themomcafe.com and say hi to you! Seriously, I did. I’ve tried to be online a little less the past several days. It’s getting to me a little, but it’s always so refreshing to come here. I didn’t attend Good Friday service this year, but instead attended the Passion Play the week before, in which my daughter played a Jewish Follower. It was so powerful. The passion story gets me everytime. But when it came time to go to the Easter Vigil Saturday evening, I had mixed feelings. I wasn’t looking forward to the 2.5 hour service and also feeling liked I failed big time on my Lenten aspirations, giving into the distractions. I want a do over! But of course, we do get do overs thanks to Jesus’s cross and resurrection. Your “what holds me back” list sooooooo resonates with me and therapeutic almost this morning to read it here in print. “Do you hand-pick what you give to God and hold the rest back?” I’ll be asking myself that today. I hope you are doing ok, Chris. Thinking of you.
Oh Julie! Bless you, friend. I understand- oh how I understand. I have failed miserably on many levels- and I too, and SO thankful for those constant sometimes seemingly cyclical do-overs. May His grace be with both you and I, always. And your heart and love and support mean the world to me. <3
Hi Chris! Of course I don’t give my all. Yes, I hold back. And for all the reasons you list. Wouldn’t my life be much better if I just let go and let God do it His way in my life? Oh yes. And it just seems more and more silly that I can’t give my all.
My hope is that every year, every Easter Season, I can rededicate myself to newness of life in Him. I’ll never be perfect. But I can be closer…
Easter blessings my friend. May you be surrounded in grace in the next days,
I just love that Ceil, “My hope is that every year, every Easter Season, I can rededicate myself to newness of life in Him. I’ll never be perfect. But I can be closer…” Yes… re-dedication. <3 Thank you for your love and prayers, my friend.
Victor S E Moubarak says
God bless you and your family.
Oh thank you Victor! God bless you, as well. <3
Victor S E Moubarak says
Thank you for visiting me on my Blog. I have responded to your comment there.
Kristi Campbell says
Gorgeous writing as always, sweet friend. I appreciate the reminder about what’s truly important this spring season. Feeling worthy… yes. Let’s remember that we really truly are. Little ole us. <3
Thank you love. XOXO
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
Chills Chris. Absolute chills.
At Good Friday services at our church, we were asked to think about what we’re holding onto (sin, unforgiveness, anger, sadness, hurts, etc.) and then we were asked to write them down on a 3×3 card and nail them (pin them with thumbtacks) to the cross in the church. That very act made me realize just how much more I need to release to God.
“Do you give Him all of you? Or do you hold some things back?” – Yes, I’ve been holding some things back… without even really recognizing it.
Thanks for sharing.
God bless you my friend.
Your Good Friday Service sounds amazing, Jennifer. I love that… we used to have something similar in my old church before it closed. I LOVED that service. I’m with you on holding things back without even realizing it, until I think through deeply into those corners of my heart.
I think there’s something to writing it down too, don’t you? And nailing it on the cross…
May we both continue to give him all of us… little by little, piece by piece.
God bless you, sweet friend. I hope you’re doing well! XOXO
Amen, my friend! I have giant issues with fear. So many times I’ve handed something over to Him, only to snatch it back shortly after. Your words are incredibly eye opening, Chris! I absolutely don’t want to dishonor what He has done for me. Thanks for this beautiful and loving reminder that is exactly what I’ve been doing. XO!
I’m so glad this spoke to you, Candace!! I understand completely, what you’re saying about fear. Oh do I ever…
I don’t want to dishonor what He has done for me, either. We’ll keep laying it all at the foot of the cross, over and over again, my friend. May God bless you through it! XOXO
Lux G. says
Aw, such beautiful truth. We have an amazing God who can conquer death.
Happy Easter (belated) to you!
Thank you Lux!! I hope you had a blessed and beautiful Easter too, my friend. XO
Beautiful, my friend. It can be crazy to wrap our head around such a beautiful truth, such a beautiful love. It is my prayer that we may all be free spirits who give it all to Him with wild abandon, the ones who run to Him, not because we are whole, but because we are only whole with Him.
AMEN! I just adore you… <3