Every Good Friday I think back to my most memorable one, in 1997 when I lived in Israel.
My parents let me skip school to go with them to Jerusalem to watch the Good Friday ceremonies. Thousands of people followed the procession along the Via Doloroso, The Way of Sorrows/Stations of the Cross, which are marked throughout the city.
We visited The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, located over the site of Golgotha where Jesus was crucified. I saw people weeping and touching The Stone of the Anointing, the site marking Jesus’ anointing after His death. I too touched the stone and marveled at being where Jesus had once been—where He had been on the day He died.
What I didn’t realize at that time was that Jesus died for me. I grew up knowing that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, but I understood it corporately and not personally.
The time I spent in Israel truly began my walk with God and I came to realize that yes, Jesus died for us all, but He died for me personally. On the day He died, He knew my name, the sins I would commit, the issues I would face and the work He’d need to do in my life. And knowing all of that, He willingly went to the cross. He went because of His love for me—and for you!
While Good Friday is often a hard day to think about, how our loving Savior died the most gruesome death, I’m so grateful for it. I’ve often held my son and thought about how I could never sacrifice him for someone else—I’m so overwhelmed by for God’s amazing love, love that sent His Only Son to die so that we would be forgiven and free in Him.
May we live and walk in that freedom today and every day!
“God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that loved us and send his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
–1 John 4:8-10 NIV