Marcia Foil, a member of The Church of the Resurrection for five years, serves as a Disciple Bible study group leader as well as in the Prison Ministry.
I know most people consider Christmas or Easter their favorite holidays, but for me Good Friday is the best. It was on a Good Friday that my faith was transformed. The Tenebrae service was always moving to me. The way that the lights are lowered and extinguished to symbolize the dimming of the light of the world moves me to my core. What darkness the people at Calvary must have known, not just the darkening of the sky, but also the darkening of their hearts.
I grew up in a religion that was very rule-based. If you followed all of the rules, you could “earn” your way into heaven. It was during the Tenebrae service that I realized that I could never ever do enough to EARN God’s love. His love just is. God loves us so much that He was willing to sacrifice everything. In the form of the Son, He made Himself into flesh and endured great pain and suffering, facing everything his children could ever face. At the same time, in the form of the Father, He gave His only son to us. I have lost a child, so I know something of the depth of pain involved in that sacrifice. I know that I would never willingly make such a sacrifice. I will forever be in awe of God’s love.
It was the realization of my flaws in comparison to God’s perfect love that transformed by faith. I am humbled by my sinful nature in light of God’s grace. When I recognized my own flawed and sinful nature, I knew that it required the greatest sacrifice to bear all of the sins of the world. In this humbled state I felt the true strength of God’s love. I know my relationship with God is closest when I am in this unpretentious state. Good Friday reminds me that I fall short of the mark, but God loves me anyway. Good Friday teaches us all what true unconditional love really is.
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