Today is Good Friday. There, I reaffirm yet again my skill of stating the obvious :-)
Today is one of my favorite days of the year. Typically I'm off school, the weather is gorgeous, and I'm already dreaming of the Easter Bunny (Easter is close to Christmas in my house ;-) ). Plus, spring fever is in the air and all that jazzy goodness.
What could be better?
This year, however, is slightly different.
Now, I go to a public school. I didn't get off today. The people around me don't know, or could care less, about what this day means. "Good" is an oxymoron to them, and it's just another day of the year some cooks named after something random.
And I see this is a positive.
For one, the story doesn't get old--I don't hear it as often. For another, the day opens up conversations that might not otherwise have existed.
So when I was praying at the flag pole this morning one thought was on my mind:
Teach me to love as You love.
Good Friday is a love story. It's also an epic battle story, a tragedy, and a history story. But above all it's a love story.
The King of the world had a Son. And this Son desired more than anything to love and be loved. And so God sent His Son to this earth to court and win over His love.
Coincidentally, or by hand, I am reading White by Ted Dekker. And this theme of love is coursing through its veins. Not to mention the facts that God's been pounding the word "love" in my head for the past month. And so when I was at the pole today I was not surprised to be moved to love, and when I sat down to write this post I was not surprised to find the words "Romance of Good Friday" in the title.
God is speaking. He is showing Me (and, if you're reading this, you) His heart.
So what is the romance of this story?
A King, a Prince, a lost bride. I could see this on a romance novel.
But the difference is that this story is real. This one is happening as I type, as you read, as the bride slips away into darkness.
Jesus Christ fell in love with humanity. But they could not love him back as they were dead in their sins. They couldn't love him back. It wasn't possible. They couldn't understand His love nor could they understand love period. Their minds were dead, and their hearts even more so.
But, things had been set in motion by His father. And His father knew that the only way to free them of their broken minds and dead bodies was for someone that lived to die.
Christ was the only one truly alive. He was not dead in sin. He knew no sin. He loved and was love.
And so Christ bore the cross for the sake of his bride. To woo her to himself he laid down his very own life.
There is quite a bit to learn from this story. Not only did it provide you and me a chance of survival and a true understanding of love. It also illustrates the characteristics of a man. It also illustrates the role of the Christian today.
The man laid down his life for the woman he loved.
The Christ(ian) laid down his life for the lost.
Eventually I'd like to do a full post on this first point but I don't have the time, or space, at the moment. But men need to remember this illustration of love. Boys and men. Christ hung on the Cross shouting out at us "THIS is love! Until you will willingly die for her you are not deserving of my daughter!"
And secondly is the relationship of the lost and found.
People have this idea that because the lost are...lost, covered in sin, etc that we should either A) become like them in an attempt to win their attraction or B) completely disown them.
But looking at how Christ wooed his bride we cannot accept either of these options. Christ didn't look at his bride, us....those who would/could be saved, and say "She's dirty. She's a whore. I love her but I am too clean," and then dirty himself all up. NO! He remained true to who he was, remained pure of sin, and wooed her another way.
In the same manner he didn't look at this bride and say, "I'm too good for her. She doesn't deserve me. She's dirty. She's a whore. She is not worthey." And then walk away and never speak to her again.
What did he do instead?
He sacrificed himself for her.
So what does this mean for us?
Quite simple really. We are not to dirty ourselves. We are not called to become like the world in effort to make them come to the saving trust of Jesus Christ. Our faith, our peace, our freedom alone is enough to attract them. We don't need to go and spoil these very things to win their affections.
And we are also not supposed to live detached from the world. In the world but not of it. That's the key. We can't woo them if we don't assosiate with them. And we won't be a faithful bride ourselves if we go and sleep with sin to help attract the lost.
We are to sacrifice ourselves. Just as Christ sacrificed himself.
Give of your time, give of your heart...
Love the lost.
I wrote a poem once. It ended something like this:
Love them for their maker
And bring them to the fold
May we woo the bride of Christ.
To the end,