If It Weren't For Jesus

I had the opportunity last night to lead our first of five Good Friday services (4 of them today). We framed this one hour service as a memorial service for Jesus, a time to remember Him through reflection, communion, and music. The focal point of the service leading up to the meal of remembrance was a time to think through what our lives would be like if it weren’t for Jesus. First we heard a powerful piece of three stories interwoven from actual first century characters including the rich young ruler, one of the ten lepers, and the woman caught in adultery. Then a brief video recorded comments from our congregation who were asked, “How would your life be different if it weren’t for Jesus?”

I reflected deeply on that question in order to lead our community in an exercise where they could write down their own thoughts and give thanks. I know my life would be vastly different if it weren’t for Jesus, even though I came to faith at the young age of seven. While I most likely would not have become a notorious criminal or make headlines with my sin, my character would be marked by self-absorption, pride, and lack of genuine love. I know this is true, because I see the darkness of my sin when I’m not walking closely with Christ. And even though given my culture and education I might have achieved something in the eyes of others, it’s those late at night questions that would plague me, wondering what it all adds up to in the end. I keep thinking that most of all, I would know a profound emptiness.

On this Good Friday, I simply want to say that I love Jesus. He is the foundation for absolutely everything in my life. My path without him is unimaginable to me. This is a day when I am choosing to be sober minded, to be quiet and reflective, to lead our services with a spirit of gratitude. There will come a time, in just a couple days, for raucous celebration. But for today, I will mourn and thank my Savior for suffering on my behalf, for finishing the job down to the last detail.

During the post-Easter week, our family will enjoy a vacation together, perhaps the last Spring Break we’ll have in common once my daughter goes to college next Fall. My blog will be silent until the first week of April…so let me wish you a significant Good Friday and a joy-filled Easter.

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