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A few months ago I attended a conference where Jill Briscoe spoke. We were simply enraptured by the stories of this 84 year old Author/Poet/Speaker/Pastor’s Wife. (What an honor to hear her speak. I decided almost immediately that she is a kindred spirit.) One of the things she shared was this:
“Go to Good Friday everyday on your knees.”Jill Briscoe
Fast forward to last Sunday when we were having communion at Church. That phrase came to mind as I was struck with the thought that the weight of my sin and the depth of His grace had somehow become commonplace in my heart. Dare I admit this–? I sort of felt nothing. How many times had I drank of the cup and ate the bread in a mechanical way?
When we are coasting by our own strength and merely existing in the day to day distractions of life without the gospel in the forefront of our hearts, we are drifting further and further away from the awareness His grace.
There is danger of taking our salvation for granted when we neglect to go to “Good Friday” often.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.Romans 5:6-10
Father, forgive me for forgetting the cross. For my near sightedness and inability to see how your sacrifice impacts every moment…
Bring me back to the simple gospel.
Not only is there danger in allowing Good Friday to be overshadowed by the daily mundane distractions of life, but when trials and hurts come, sometimes I’m so overwhelmed by my situation that it’s hard to look past and see it all in light of Christ’s sacrifice. Here’s what Jill suggests:
When trauma comes, spend time thinking about the cross. Ask God to tell you what it was like for Him. Read the parts of the Word where God’s heart breaks… Brokenness leads to blessedness in prayer.”Jill Briscoe
Consider the painful beauty of the cross and contrast it with the ugliness of your sin. The power of the cross will expose your need for Him and comfort you in your hurt. He knows you. He sees you and He understands your pain more than anyone else.
So what does it really mean to “go to Good Friday everyday”?
It’s the practice of reflecting upon His sacrifice on the cross daily. When we sit in the shadow of Good Friday, it exposes our deep need for Salvation. It reminds us of who we were outside of His grace and brings to light His unfathomable love for us.
Practically speaking, we can do this by prayer and fasting, by playing worship music specifically about the Cross, and by reading and memorizing His Word. A great place to start is to go back through the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection in the Gospels. Here are a few other passages to reflect upon:
Put together a personal Good Friday Service. Do it often- in the painful broken situations as well as in the comfort and ease of the mundane.
Click here to listen to Jill Briscoe Recite her poem, “You Wore My Thorns”.
You wore my thorns, that I may know Your grace;
Pierced by my sin, that I may see Your face.
Loved and forgiven from shame and deep disgrace,
You wore my thorns, You wore my thorns.
You wore my robe, You let them mock and sneer;
You took the beating You knew I could not bear.
In this silent moment, I turn and see You there:
You wore my robe, You wore my robe.
You felt my nails, and watched the hammer fall.
Legions of angels You refused to call.
Watched they who loved You, holy and appalled,
You felt my nails, You felt my nails.
You bore my cross, You bore Your Father’s frown;
Tears on His face, His judgment took You down.
Now it’s my turn to wear the thorny crown,
For You bore my cross, You bore my cross.
You died my death, You gave Your life for me;
Laid in my tomb of sin, You set me free.
You loved a girl, who hurt You terribly;
You died my death, You died my death.
You Wore My Thorns, Jill Briscoe © 2001
Teach me to love what once I so despised,
Live for Your smile, the love-light in Your eyes;
Ignite a flame of love that never dies.
You wore my thorns, You wore my thorns!
Books I’m currently reading and/or recommend by Jill Briscoe: