In this Good Friday Reflection Series, Alisha reflects on what the Cross means to her, and how its significance in her life this year. Amidst a busy year, Alisha ponders about the significance of a great exchange. This Good Friday, let us meditate on what Christ has done for us and to grow ever deeper, nearer to the Cross of Jesus.
The lent season has felt different this year. The busyness of work and the seeming unending nature of the working year has made Good Friday seem like just another day.
While trudging my way trying to get through the 287 working days in 2021, I turned a corner and suddenly it is end of March and the Easter weekend. It made me feel a little sad that I felt few emotions of wonder of/ awe at/ intimacy with Jesus even as we approached the weekend where we remember His death and resurrection. It made me long for the “old days” when I could leisurely spend hours reading, thinking and meeting other like minded brothers and sisters to wonder at the goodness of the gospel.
Yet over the weekend that just passed as we read about Jesus’ trial, the unjust exchange and His crucifixion, I was reminded of the precious truth of the gospel – that it was Him for me, and it was all His work.
Barabbas was the name of the insurrectionist and murderer – the guilty one who rightfully deserved death. Interestingly, his name means “Son of Abba” – Son of the father. In Pilate’s release of Barrabas, it demonstrated that Jesus the innocent, perfect Son of the Father had come to substitute Himself and take on the death that we, guilty sons of the Father deserve. While we were still sinners, enemies of God, insurrectionists against His rightful rule over us, Christ the Son of God, the Son of the Father, died for us.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
– Isaiah 53: 4-6
At the cross Jesus was pierced for our trespasses, he was crushed for our crookedness, and upon Him was the punishment that brought us peace. We all turned away, following our own paths in selfish pursuits of idols and self-pleasure, and yet the Lord chose to lay on Jesus the innocent Son all our sin and shame.
What an unfair exchange, given to us by a most gracious God.
So I am reminded this busy and tiring week leading up to Easter, that though I have little and what seems to be shallow sentiment, the truth of the gospel that Jesus died in my place and took my shame and has given me peace with God remains the same. I am comforted that my emotions make no difference to the fact that Jesus’ death tore the curtain and brought true Sabbath rest for those who trust in Him, that whether before or now, this same offer of reconciliation with God and forgiveness of sins remains open.
If you’ve been dampened by the busyness of work/ school/ life, I hope that like me you may be comforted in the truth that the gospel did not and does not depend on us. Jesus has already made the great exchange, so let us keep drawing near every day as long as it is called today – that we may find true Sabbath rest in Him, and find mercy and help to keep on trusting in our Saviour and King Jesus.
Written by: Alisha
Ali is a Basic Leader and is working as a Physiotherapist in Singapore. She likes climbing, reading and meeting people for coffee hehe.