Scripture:  Surely, he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  Isaiah 53:4-6

Meditation:  Several years ago, something happened that changed my life forever. I was asked by my beautiful only son and youngest child if he was going to die. I had to tell him the truth and say yes. We were more fortunate than most in that we had three weeks of talks, tears and even some laughs to say goodbye. The day he took his last breath, was Sunday, March 21, the first day of spring on a bright sunny day as we, his family, gathered around his bed. Two weeks later was Easter Sunday, and I had such mixed feelings about God and Jesus and everything religious but, like a good Christian, I participated in the various services.

Jesus wasn’t crucified for anything he did wrong. He did it because his father, God, sent him as a human to this world to live, serve and die for us. I have thought many hours about this through the years and it changed my entire perspective on the days of Easter, especially Good Friday. God sent his only begotten son to earth. The son he loved. Strange circumstances to say the least. Virgin birth, three years of service to all kinds of people, using just plain people like us to carry his message on through the centuries, and then we come to the horrible death. I thought about the crucifixion a lot, and then I felt sorry for God. He’s God, right? He can handle anything, then I thought about the question I had to answer to my son. What about when God’s son cried out from the cross with blood running down his face from the thorns and his hands and feet and he shouted out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Even though God knew that Jesus was going to be raised from the dead on the third day, it had to break his heart and make him angry. The sky turned dark, the earth trembled, lightning and thunder covered the sky and the curtain in the Temple tore in two. I think God was showing his anger. The death of a child is hard to bear, even God’s child Jesus.

Let’s remember the “Why?” behind this entire magnificent event. Because God loves US. He sent his son to die so that we may be made whole. He died for US. We are the reason Jesus went through the crucifixion. He rose on the third day so that we may have eternal life.

Prayer:  Thank you, God, for sending your precious son to live and die for us. Thank you for the knowing that we are loved beyond explanation. Help us even in our darkest hour to remember how much Jesus loved us to go through with the plan that was set before him. To endure the punishment that makes us whole. When we turn and go our own way, help us remember that we can go through anything knowing that your love is always with us, even when we can’t feel it, you are there, loving us through it all.  Amen