The following post was written by Stephanie Kountz on the eve of Good Friday.
We are desperate people.
Last night, I laid in bed thinking about Good Friday and the crucifixion. Thinking about all Jesus suffered. Sweating blood; burdened under our sin; betrayed by the one He ate with and taught with for the past three years; abandoned by His closest friends; scourged; mocked; hated by those who had sang His praise only one week before; stripped naked; nailed; forsaken; killed.
My entire life I’ve known this story, and each time I allow myself to dwell upon it I feel sad and broken for Jesus’ sake. I feel regretful that He had to go, and guilty for my part in nailing Him down.
But last night was different. For the first time, I felt glad. I felt desperate for Good Friday to come and remind me that Jesus had died a brutal death on the cross for my sake. I thought about His suffering, and I knew with everything in me that it was so necessary. There was no other option. The blackness of my heart, which is daily revealed to me, demanded this payment or my eternal damnation.
And I wonder if deep down, this is why the Jewish people called out, "Crucify!" in the courtyard. Knowing what I know now, I would have been standing right there with them. Needing Him to die so I can live. Maybe I was there. Maybe I am.
I call out crucify! because it is the only hope I have, and I’m desperate. I’m desperate to escape my own sin and darkness. I’m desperate to be free from my judgmental mind and selfish actions and wicked heart. I see it and I hate it and I know I will drown if someone doesn’t do something drastic.
Wash me in Your blood.
I used to hate that phrase and think it sounded so savage and uncouth. But I am savage. And I need all of You. Make me unrecognizable as I’m transformed by Your blood and sacrifice.
Keep breaking. Keep revealing. I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface of what You’ve done and what I need. As wicked as I think I am, I know I’m worse. And You see it. And You—for the love of what I can’t understand—hold none of it against me.
I see Your eyes. They are so warm. They are so full of love. You aren’t surprised by me like I am. I don’t understand. But God, I crumble in the safety of Your shadow.
My love is imperfect but I want You to have it all. Make it better. Make it like yours.
I am desperately redeemed. Imperfectly grateful. Drowning in grace.
I always felt bad calling this “Good” Friday. But I think I understand a little more today.