Good Friday 2011
I am stripped bare
there is finally nothing left to hide me.
I’ve fought and fought
trying desperately to cling to what has covered me.
You show me, me
and I cringe at the crusty corners that have cut and scraped.
My deeds, my sin
turning from life, turning toward what eats up my life.
I lash out
striking with the sword, returning to that vicious circle that has spiraled down throughout history.
Though in the End, I’ve forsaken you
running in shame, denying what you have tried so desperately to teach me, denying who I am, denying who you are because fear for my own life has consumed me.
Perhaps one of the hardest parts of this story which gathers us this day is witnessing to the actions and reactions of Peter and the rest of the disciples. Just the night before these are all the very same people that Jesus spent quite a bit of time and care telling these disciples, “No longer do I call you servants, but I have called you friends.” (John 15.15) these men and these women who Jesus has called and gathered around himself are more than just pupils to be taught lessons. These men and women are friends who share in a deep love that cares dearly for each and every one of them. So when disciples run away from the scene of Jesus’ arrest and then when Peter denies fully, whole-heartedly that he does not know this man who has just called him a friend, we begin to see the completeness of the disciples failure to trust and follow in the way of their Lord.
And when I hear about how these people who knew Jesus personally and loved him dearly abandons him to die, I cannot help but begin to see where I’ve failed, where I’ve run away from what I avowed to stay loyal to. Even the best of us fail in our lives to always do what is absolutely right. Even the best of us have our faults that are laid bare from time to time. And that simply is a part of what the cross reveals in stark detail. It reveals the sins we have committed, and it reveals all those times when we very possibly could have done some more. In the end our strength, our reasoning, and our intellect fail us. For sometimes the right thing to do is not clear, and other times it can be as clear as a bell ringing, and yet we fail to act.
But the cross also shows one amazingly foundational truth that undergirds all of creation throughout all time – Jesus dies for us so that we may see the depths to which our God goes for us people who have failed. Jesus does not make a pact before he is handed over to be killed. He does not say, “I will go do this for you if you promise to shower me with love and glory.” He does not say, “I will do this for you if you promise to be perfect from this day on out.” He says, “I do this for you, because I love you and I do not want to let you go.” So the cross finally shows the vastness of God’s love that as the Apostle Paul says in Roman, “nothing in all of creation can separate us from the love of God that we have in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8.39)
Truth is stripped bare
everything that clouds my vision has vanished.
Light shines and shines
illuminating what is real and what is from everlasting to everlasting.
You show me love
and I smile at something so steadfast and serene.
My hope, my trust
reveling in wonder, reveling in the life you continually give me.
And I am stripped bare
There is finally nothing left to hide me or your love.