Lent Day 45: Good Friday

IMG_1854Jesus, would not be deterred. His words in the same passage of Matthew, and just prior to the desertion of the disciples are this: “But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled” (v. 56).  He knew his mission, the mission his Father had sent him to complete, and that is salvation for sinners.
Today, we continue to live in the post-Eden world.  We live in a fallen and broken world, one in which spiritual exile still exists. We experience exile in our homes, where families are broken apart by the effects of sin. We experience exile in our relationships when selfishness and a lack of forgiveness divide even the best of friends. We experience exile from God as we continue to seek “the way that appears to be right, but ends in death” (Proverbs 14:12).
Today, we witnessed the self-imposed exile of the disciples as John questioned, “Where do I go from here?” And as Andrew asked, “Will he ever return to us?” And the haunting question from Thaddeus, “And now I am lost. Who will come and find me?”
These are the very questions we ask from exile in a fallen world. When we have lost our way. When we have come to the place in our lives when we realize that our way is not best, that our way leads to death. We experience real brokenness in exile. We are damaged by conflict, disappointment, and discouragement.
Into this lost and exiled world, a world which has lost its way, Jesus proclaims, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).  In his willingness to be exiled from Gethsemane, in his willingness to be deserted by his closest followers, Jesus provided the salvation the world needed at that time, and still needs today.
I believe there are those of us today who continue to experience heartbreak and brokenness. I believe there are some today who may even feel exiled, all alone and wondering, “Who will come for me?” I love the words of the Psalmist, in a Psalm of praise, who wrote, “The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the exiles of Israel” (Psalm 147:2).  This is beautiful imagery, a vision of God through his Son Jesus Christ, gathering all of the lost and exiled, gathering up those who had lost their way. Then the Psalmist adds, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (v. 3).
The question this Good Friday is this:  Are you feeling lost and exiled in a very broken world today? I have good news for you! Jesus came to gather you in, to heal your broken heart and to bind up your wounds.  Will you receive him?
 

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