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James Doc

Good Friday...

Today is Good Friday. It is a day set in the Christian calendar to make time to reflect the day of Jesus’ death. It’s a day when we remember the events leading up to it… the person asking the price for Jesus’ life… the person who had travelled with Jesus for three years saying three times saying ”I don’t know this man”… the person who asked the crowd “what shall I do with this man?” and the crowd responding “Crucify him”.

We remember the man who looked on all of this and responded with “Father, forgive them” as he was nailed to a wooden cross by these people.

This was part of the reflection that we started our Good Friday service with today. It’s not just a reflection of what these people did, but a reflection on what I do to Jesus. We were taken to Romans 7.7–8:

…rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

This hit in a new way today. Last night I watched People, Places & Things. The play is a portrayal of a young woman called Emma going from having the time of her life, to being in a rehab clinic. There is so much to say about this about this, but one of the things that clearly stood out was the depiction of drug addiction. Emma talks about how the drugs made her life vivid, that she found love and solace in them– one of her line is “they love you back…“ It’s really hard watch.

Why is this relevant? Because through out today I have not been able to shift the pictures of this play and the pictures of Good Friday from my head. Sitting down in the service this morning, all I could think about was myself in Emma’s world- sometimes so oblivious to the problem, other times seeing her situation crystal clear.

I’m a sinner in rehab
  and it is going to take a while.

There’s a support group around me and I meet them each week
  It’s called the church.

We’re all here together;
  some of the community have just got here,
  others have been her for years.

There are days that are easier than others,
  Some people, some places and some things trigger it more than others

But it is okay, I can get through…
  …just not on my own.

That’s not how it works.
  I cannot bear it’s seduction or burden on my own.

There’s a man who stands with me.
  He takes it’s weight.
  My saviour changes me and points me to a better way.

I don’t deserve it. I come to the cross of Christ as a mess. As someone who hurled the insults at him, as someone who hammered the nails into his hands. But that’s not what Jesus based his death on the cross on to save me. My status is, and always will be, sinner– saved by grace and grace alone.

Banner image: The Crucifixion (William Richardson), V&A - E.706-1968

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