Lenten Devotional: Good Friday

Psalm 95Psalm 22Psalm 40:1-14(15-19)Psalm 54
Wisdom 1:16—2:1, 12-22
or Genesis 22:1-141 Peter 1:10-20
John 13:36-38
John 19:38-42

“Here I am.” Genesis 22:1

After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac;….The angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, …”Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham looked up and saw a ram…Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering, instead of his son. So Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide.”

I really can’t write the words in between. Not only is the story gut wrenching but it begs me to ask myself the question “just how strong is my faith?” I suppose that is the major question of Lent. Is my faith strengthened by whatever discipline I exact upon myself? I know historically the truth of the Passion, suffering and resurrection. Do I fully embrace the knowledge that God so loves me He gave His only begotten Son for me? Abraham had never heard of Jesus, but he trusted God and God’s love for His creation. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his beloved son in obedience to God. What am I willing to sacrifice in obedience? Not much, I fear. I’m inclined to resist. I don’t want to or not now are easy responses. This in spite of real life experiences that have confirmed to me “The Lord will provide”. This Good Friday may I feel the sadness of the suffering and death of Jesus from a new perspective and be ready to joyfully reply “Here I am, God. Thy will be done”.