A day that, upon reflection, was not very good. I can see that cross in the sanctuary of my church each week and know that God loves me. I can wear a cross necklace daily and know that it symbolizes the life, love and sacrifice of my Savior. But, on Good Friday I am forced to contemplate what the cross is rather than what it is a symbol of. It is an archaic, cruel invention meant to take a person’s life in the most painful way possible. It was designed to purposefully prolong the dying process and increase the agony. The cross encapsulates everything that is evil about mankind.
As the pastor spoke at the Good Friday service last night a simple truth hit me. While we always say that when Jesus died on that tree He conquered death, there is more. He conquered all that is brutal and cruel and inhuman in us. He used that mechanism of evil intent to become the sacrifice that changed the world. God took what had to be the ugliest invention of His creation and turned it to be the catalyst of everything that is good and loving and glorious of Himself. The path to eternal life runs straight through and is victorious over man’s own depravity.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20
It reminds me that no matter how low I have sunk, how ugly my thoughts can get, how angry my actions can be – none of that is too much for God to turn around and still use me for His purposes. He will love me despite my sins, He will use me in this fallen world despite my shortcomings. Nothing is too evil for God to embrace and turn to good. That is a powerful truth that I am struggling to wrap my mind around even as I read the latest headlines out of Brussels. But I will cling to the simple truths.
“God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5b