I was at a wedding recently. They had a photo booth. Some of the guests cheekily insisted I take a photo of a dream chiselled, pumped-up and six-pack body.
I consented and I was transformed instantly. My wife rolled her eyes. My church members rolled with laughter. Of course, it’s a laughable transformation. Me with an Arnold Schwarzenegger body would be an extreme but impossible makeover.
Yet, it does make us ponder about the change we so long for in life. If we don’t like how we look in a photo, we just photoshop it away. If we don’t like how we look in the mirror, we only need a plastic surgeon.
If you don’t like the unreasonableness of a boss or the mundaneness of a job, we move on. If we are discontented with a marriage, we hop onto the next sweet thing or cute guy. If we cannot stand our disappointing children or stifling parents, we explore the bliss of splendid isolation.
But we know these cosmetic changes never satisfy. It’s not long before the same frustrations and failures of human change grips us. It’s a matter of time before the same darkness and depression of self-made improvement hits us, again.
For underneath the facade of all the frenetic human change we excitedly embark on is the reality of fake change we end up with.
Good Friday, on the other hand, is Good Change. Why?
Good Friday is God changing us from above. It is about God giving us new hearts and making us new beings. How?
By Jesus dying on the Cross to take God’s rightful wrath for our foolish attempt to be little gods and to look good without Him. The Bible tells us that Christ died for us while we his enemies, while we were sinners and while powerless to do anything about our condition (Romans 5:6-11).
I prayed this prayer at our Good Friday service today. I hope it helps you to understand Good Friday and embrace Jesus for yourself:
“Almighty God, please grace us so that we will humbly confess our sins.
For although we know that you are God, we have chosen to suppress the knowledge of you. Our thinking is futile and our foolish hearts are darkened.
Our lives are full of moments where we claim to be wise when we are really fools.
We are instinctively disobedient to our sincere parents who nurture us.
We are frightfully unfaithful to our spouses who love us.
We are dangerously impatient with our children who innocently trust us.
We are sickeningly forgetful of friends who have helped us along life’s journey.
So may each and all of us confess:
‘I have sinned and fall short of your glory O God.
I am faithless, heartless and ruthless because I am Godless.
I am a lover of money, of pleasure, of self, of anything but you O God.’
So, may we say this Good Friday:
‘Enough is enough. We are sick. And we desperately need a doctor.
I confess and admit that the wages of sin is death.
Because I am so stubbornly rebellious to God, you Lord Jesus died so submissively for me.
Because I am so destructively proud, you Lord Jesus died so humbly for me.
Because I am so addictively sinful, you Lord Jesus died so sinlessly for me on the Cross.
So, by grace alone grant me faith alone to believe that I can only be truly saved by Christ alone! Amen.”