The author begins to take us through the days of Holy Week starting with Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday, but we never get there; he asks us not to rush by Good Friday, and, we never leave. He says, “Don’t hurry by the Cross on your way to Easter Joy, for we know the Risen Lord only through Christ and him crucified.” To understand Our Lord, we must begin to understand what Good Friday is, and what it means. What it means to me and to all people of faith, whether they are in love with Jesus or just know him, and to those that have not yet found Him. In order to understand Our Lord, we need to know and understand the sacred ground of Calvary and what really happened that day for all of mankind. As here at the Cross is the real world, the place we need to know, grasp and understand, and most importantly; give thanks to Our Lord for his Cross and sufferings, his crucifixion, and ultimately his death. At Calvary, we need to understand Our Lord’s first words from the cross, “Father Forgive them,” as it speaks to who Jesus is. We need to embrace his real expression of love he has for us, as well as, the forgiveness of those who do not know what they did. Love and Forgiveness. This is where we see ourselves in the life and death of Jesus Christ. This is “Axis Mundi.”
It is here where we see, sadly so, that “Forgiveness Costs.” As the author points out, it is not Forgetfulness. It’s about actions and decisions. It’s how forgiveness has costs and how it impacts our lives, and in many cases, those around us. Whatever it is, something must be done so it is made right. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter. Yes, otherwise it doesn’t matter. This is something that is in everyone’s life at some point, but it is here at Calvary, that we can begin to see and understand the enormity that “Forgiveness Costs.” Whatever and wherever forgiveness is, and to what degree, the Cross and Calvary are at the heart of what “Forgiveness Costs.” With the Cross, we can see the gravity of wrongs and the sins of all. This gravity of wrongs and sins is not just for past sins. Our Lord, died for all sins, both past and present and all future sins of mankind. “Forgiveness Costs.” If not, “the trespass does not matter.”
“Stay for awhile. Don’t rush to Easter Sunday,” as I was there too. My sins, both large and small, brought me there with Our Lord. The times of where we put ourselves ahead of others. The times we lose our patience, and forget about kindness towards those that need help and gentleness, for those that are bruised and hurt, and the times where we don’t make a difference, as our time is all too important. Yes, I was there, and I like to think I was at the foot of the Cross with Our Blessed Mother to the end, as I made the time and wanted to grieve for my God. But on the other side of the Cross, I want to thank him for what he just did for me and what now awaits me, because I am looking at and grieving about Our Lord’s death right now. From here moving forward, it’s up to me. It is here where I need to pick up my Cross and start down my path and continue to give my thanks.
Sins are serious. We see the consequences as we remain in Calvary. “In the Cross, we see the rendering of the verdict on the gravity of sin.” As humans, we make sins insignificant and smaller than they are. We alter their seriousness in our minds; thus in our actions. We change the truths of them, the definitional changes of what is good or evil, or what is right or wrong. We redefine the meaning and what is acceptable, thus changing the outcomes. Things now look the way I want them. We set up the rules of judging ourselves. However, “the truth is that we do not judge the truth; the truth judges us.” The judgment that matters is the judgment of God who alone judges justly. He defines the good and what is right, as there is a line in everyone’s heart that divides good from bad and evil. There is no changing that, and there is no changing our struggles with good and evil.
St Paul says it best for me. “I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want, is what I do.” So the struggles continue. How is it corrected? How are all sins are justified, from the husband cheating on his wife, to “everybody is doing it,” and to the sins that reflect so poorly on the human race? The killing times of Auschwitz and all the others camps, to murder, rape and hunger throughout Africa, and the atrocious of Kosovo. Let us not forget the killing fields of Cambodia and current state of affairs in Syria and the slaughtering of innocent men, women and children around the world. It is something we can read about in history, but is also something we can see today all around us. And in fifty (50) years, these events may just be a footnote in history books, rather than the story.
“Stay for awhile. Don’t rush to Easter Sunday.”
Man has found ways to justify his actions. Man has found ways to blame it on God and ask where God is? “How could he let this happen?” Man has found “God guilty” again! So again we have to ask the question, how is this going to be corrected? What must we do? Yes, “Forgiveness Costs.” But are we capable of correcting our own sins? The simple answer is no. That is why God accepted His Cross and our guilty verdict. He took up the Cross to correct what man has done, because man is not capable of correcting his own sins. Sins are serious. It had to be corrected and God did it, at a great cost and out of love for us.
Stay for awhile. Don’t rush to Easter Sunday.”
As Adam came to his senses, and the prodigal Son came to his senses, I have come to my senses here at the Cross on Calvary. I weep on one side of the Cross, for what has happened to him by me, and I thank Jesus on the other side on where I can go now.
“Here, through the Cross, we have come home, home to the truth about ourselves, home to the truth about what God has done, about what we have done. And now we know, or begin to know, why this awful, awe-filled Friday is called Good.
Thank You God.
I love You.