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A Good Friday Meditation

29 March 2018 By Frank & Jeannette Meitz In News
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Jesus is not a sad victim of a fallen world or a victim of a gruesome plot. Good Friday is not a tragedy but a triumph. The perfect plan that God set in motion in the Garden of Eden is now finally coming to fulfillment. God wanted us, his imagers, to bring the world back to the Garden of Eden, but we couldn’t. We tried. We kept creating false gods. We kept wanting to be independent from God, thinking we could do it without Him, but we can’t. Only He can bring peace and redemption.

 

Everything that happened to Jesus was leading up to Good Friday and was orchestrated by God. Think of Passion Week as a chess board. He was thinking outside the realm of two dimensions. God was playing in 3-D where Jesus' contemporaries were playing in 2-D.

3d chess picThe Pharisees thought they “had” him, that they were in control, manipulating the "pieces" (checkmate). But they lost the game before they started, primarily because they were playing based on their own understanding (reason and rules) and not trusting in the Lord, by faith (what they couldn't see). The Pharisees couldn't see the moves that God was making, had made (in the past) and would make (in the future).

Jesus managed every situation, every person, allowing events to happen to get Him where He needed to be – nailed to the cross – for my salvation.

 

How does this apply to me?

As I move forward and look into the future, Jesus is already there. He is already moving pieces around (or allowing them to be moved around) in different dimensions. My obedience to Him, my surrender and Lordship, and abiding with Him will bring me to the place He wants me to be and transform me into the person He always intended. Just like with Jesus, the point is to get me to where He wants me.

The dimensional aspect is that I may need to allow God to reconcile things in my past that I am holding onto, that I feel are dear to me or just wounds that prevent me from moving forward – to take advantage of whatever it is that Jesus is creating for me in my future. (Jesus tried to get the Pharisees to reconcile their past) God is viewing the totality of my life from His 3-D perfective, while I can only see 2-D. Why? Because God is outside of our time and space.

We can look at the future as “next week”, “next year”, and so forth, but as I contemplate Scripture, I can see that God was “playing 3-D chess” over thousands of years. For instance:

  • David penned Psalm 22 (about 900 BC) depicting what would happen on the cross.
    • Jesus quoted Psalm 22:1 from the cross “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Psalm 22 described other things that also happened on the cross.
  • Isaiah (about 700 BC) prophesied many things about Jesus (see Chapters 51- 53, especially)
  • Zechariah (about 500 BC) prophesied in 9:1 “Look, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Palm Sunday) 

This gives ME hope and courage that God is working in my life on a 3-D level – even when I can’t understand or comprehend what He is up to!

Passion Week

What can I take away from Passion Week, leading up to Friday? Here are a few examples of how God was "playing 3-D chess", far from the 2-dimensions of everyone else.

Tuesday – Jesus cursed the fig tree - Mark 11:12-14

The leaves were on the tree, looking good, but the tree would have no fruit. Jesus saw the hypocrisy of the tree. In Scripture fig trees usually represent Israel. The religious leaders were doing and saying the religious things, but in their hearts, they didn’t make Him Lord. People may appear to be super religious, but many aren’t “all-in” for Him. God looks at the heart – not at the outside. (I Samuel 16:7)

Contemplate: Have I made Him Lord of my life? Am I fully surrendered to Him and obediently following Him? Am I “all-in”? Have I given Him access to all areas of my life? (rooms of my house). 1

Jesus may be saying “move two steps forward and one to the right”. I obey by faith, because I may be able to see a step or two ahead, but I can’t see around the corner. As I pray in God’s will, He will answer – but not always like I expect. God is in 3-D, and I am not. What I think is God’s will for me may not be at all what He wants for me.

In other words, am I doing or saying religious things, but I don’t REALLY trust Him for everything? Do I really trust His character? Is He really sovereign? Loving? Good? Can only do what’s in my best interest? 2

Wednesday – Jesus is anointed with oil – Mark 14:3-9

When Jesus was eating a meal with his disciples, a woman anointed him with expensive fragrant oil of nard. It was an act of honor and devotion. She didn’t just pour it on his head, but also on his feet. She was giving him something that was precious. Her most valuable possession – about one year’s wages.

Contemplate: Do I have anything that is more precious to me than Jesus? Does He get the best of my time, energy, and possessions, or only the leftovers?

 Thursday night – the Passover meal - Jesus washed the disciples’ feet - John 13:1-17

Jesus says He came to serve, not to be served. There were no servants in the room, and the disciples didn’t want to serve. They were thinking in their 2-D realm that they had come to celebrate the Passover. They didn’t even think about serving each other. Jesus was a model for them – to think more 3-D – more like Him.

Jesus was, in essence, saying, “I will be gone in 24 hours, and you need to start thinking like me, because I am thinking like God by doing His will.”

Contemplate: What do my actions (behavior) say about my thoughts? Because what I think about is what I do.

Jesus recognized they weren’t thinking about being servants; they were thinking about being served. That was their worldview at the time. Jesus came to change their worldview to see life from God’s perspective3

I can identify with Peter when he basically said, “Jesus, you don’t know what you are doing.” Do I do the same thing -- telling Jesus what is best for me? After all, don’t I know what’s best for me and won’t I only do what’s in my best interest?

Thursday night –the Passover meal continued - Exodus 12:1-14

The very first Passover was a foretelling of Jesus, our Passover lamb. God was reminding the nation Israel that an innocent animal had to be sacrificed in order for them to be saved before moving forward into the Promised Land.

Jesus was fulfilling the same prophecy when John the Baptist declared, “Look, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) He took our sin away forever, for those of us who believe.

God commanded the Israelites to commemorate the Passover meal yearly by remembering how God spared them and delivered them from bondage. What’s the importance of remembering? As I remember who I used to be and compare that to who God is making me into now, I can be very thankful for His deliverance.

Contemplate: God had a two-step plan for the Israelites: 1) to deliver them FROM bondage in Egypt and 2) put them INTO the Promised Land in Canaan.

What about me? Am I like the Israelites who, a week later, were wandering in the desert when they didn’t have to be? When they left Egypt, they were only a couple of weeks away from walking into the Promised Land. It only took them a few days to lose faith and start wandering -- leaning on their own understanding. The result was it took them 40 years to get to their Promised Land.

I am thankful God brought me out of bondage, but am I wandering in my spiritual desert? Am I allowing God to take me into my spiritual Promised Land? That requires my Lordship decision (full surrender), trusting His character (Proverbs 3:5-6) and abiding daily. (Do I need to seek out a more spiritually mature believer to mentor me, walk with me through the DTI material?)

Thursday night – Garden of Gethsemane - Mark 14:36

Jesus went into the garden and prayed. (paraphrase) “Okay, God, I don’t know that I want to do this. I don’t know what I need to do. But I trust you. I trust your character. If this is going to be painful or unpleasant, please take it away from me. BUT, if it is your will, I know you will be lead me, and I will do as you have asked.”

Contemplate: What is my garden moment? What if I ask him to take it away, and He says, “No, this is what I have prepared for you. It is a dimension you can’t see, a level you aren’t even on right now. But if you trust me, and keep moving forward, we will get there.”

Yes, I may go through trials, like Jesus did on Friday. I may have people deny me; I may have family and friends deride me, say bad things about me, even abandon me. All things Jesus went through on Friday. All this may happen to me, but if I consider myself a follower (disciple) of Jesus, why wouldn’t I have a similar “Friday” in my life?

Because…we know – just like Jesus knew then – that SUNDAY IS COMING!

Friday was the culmination of the week - hard, depressing. But Sunday is coming!!

Sunday’s promise is my spiritual Promised Land -- better than I can imagine!! I’ve never been there before, but he gave me the GPS – the Holy Spirit. Now all I have to do is sync with Him and follow Him as He leads me to live the abundant life He planned for me.

 

(1) DTI Lesson 1-7

(2) DTI lesson 1-5

(3) DTI lesson 1-2

Last modified on Thursday, 29 March 2018 18:02

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