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Good Friday….A demonstration of love.

April 14, 2017

I have always thought it was an oxymoron for this day to be called “good”. What is good about a day that the One that was sent to lead us to a life of compassion, peace, forgiveness and love was brutally murdered by and as the people He walked amidst cheered the abuse on, the same people who had lined the streets singing His praises and celebrating His life days earlier were lining the path as He took the walk toward His death jeering Him, spitting and pelting him, all of this while His “friends” watched from a safe distance so as not to suffer the same violent demise? Each year this day dawns is an opportunity to reread the chapters that describe the actions, the pain, the betrayal, the courage displayed and the love that was laid down from the One who created world. It is an opportunity to remind ourselves just why this day is “Good”. Jesus demonstrated love through this hideous day by weaving it throughout the acts that transpired until His final breath. The strongest love was apparent from a Son to His Father, from a Father to His children, and between a mother and a child. Having been blessed to be a have my heart walk outside of my body in the form of a daughter and a son, I have learned first hand the intense power of a “mother’s love”. If there was or is any way I can prevent pain, aches and hurt from landing on the body or spirit of my children I will stand in that gap and do whatever I can to deflect it from them to myself. If I cannot prevent it there is nothing that would keep me from walking through the pain, challenge, burden or from standing by their side. There at the foot of the cross stood Mary broken, weeping, and watching the heart outside of her body about the leave her presence, her care, the world. If physical and emotional pain can be weighed the sum of that pain that Jesus experienced would scale to the pain that His mother sustained on that day. To lose a child is the greatest pain a parent can experience. To watch your child murdered by the very people He peacefully served, cared for and loved is an agony that only one mother has ever endured. Jesus knew the pain that Mary was suffering even through His own. “When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.” ~ John 19:26-27 He saw and felt the pain, and compassionately and purposefully did what He could before He died, to comfort the one God bestowed to Him as “mother”. He demonstrated love. When the guards were dividing up His garments to keep as “souvenirs” of the occasion, He didn’t order lightening to crash from the skies and level them to the ground. Instead He prayed on their behalf: “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” ~ Luke 23:34 He demonstrated love. When the criminal who suffered the same sentence and torture spoke up for Jesus defending Him proclaiming “this man has done nothing wrong” Then turning to Jesus, not asking for freedom from his cross but for forgiveness for he wrongs “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus compassionately eased the man’s remorse and honored his respect. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” ~ Luke 23:43 He demonstrated love. The nails did not keep Jesus on the cross His love did. He could have committed the miracle of miracles and made the entire day not happen by reducing to ashes all who would and did condemn, abuse, and murder Him, but that was not the story of Love that was being written. He showed His love for His Father who was showing His love for the world, for you and I, by taking each painful step toward the cross. “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” ~ John 19:30 He demonstrated love until His very last breath. And, as we now know, even beyond….. May you feel the presence and love, on this day and every day, of the One who didn’t just speak of love, but demonstrated love from His first steps to His last. May you feel moved to walk through the day, this day, every day, with Him in word, action and prayer bringing your heart and His closer together, as He had hoped would be the result of this day. Today is a “Good” day to revisit, to continue, to strengthen, or to start that walk.

Wishing you peace,

Terri O’Neill-Borders


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