A dark cloud hangs over me today. I woke up early and went straight to my bible corner. That spot contains everything I need to learn and glean. I’m in the historical books, and Samuel is my favorite. I expected to meet David, the warrior, the action hero fighting and defeating thousands. But I smiled when my plan took me to the Psalms instead, where I love to camp. It seriously excited me, but …
A dark cloud hangs over those Psalms. I still met up with David, the man after God’s own heart. Only, I met him in despair. Weary and exhausted, pouring out his heart, asking God to rescue him. You see, the dark cloud hung over David too. In his writing, he often starts by whining. You may not call it that, but I do, and I hate whining. Still, somehow, when he does it, I excuse him because he always ends up praising God, and he does it so eloquently, so gloriously. So I read, I prayed, and I reflected. And the cloud grew darker. After reading the Psalms, I turned to Daily Readings in the Life of Christ by John MacArthur. He took me to Isaiah 53:4-6, and a dark cloud would hang over Jesus…
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, everyone, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Did you read it? Please don’t gloss over it. Can you see his shoulders collapsing under the weight of our sorrows? They beat him in place of me. He received the humiliation and chastisement that I deserve. He took the blame for all my evil deeds, though undeserving that I am. Can you imagine? I struggle with releasing just the burden of my wrongdoings. I can’t imagine carrying the guilt of everyone else’s, nor should I! Jesus did this for you and for me. I can never earn his love and forgiveness. Never will I be subjected to the emotional wrenching, the mental anguish, or the excruciating physical pain he endured. No matter my trials and tragedies, they are nothing compared to His grief. Everything we’ve done wrong, every terror this world has inflicted, holds no comparison. He took the punishment for it all. Past, present, and future. He did it to give us the hope of eternity. Can you imagine that God wants me to spend eternity with Him? The unfathomable gift of salvation is mine. What a treasure!
And the dark cloud remains. It’s not some weird self-inflicting punishment. It’s just that the poignant sadness of Good Friday humbles me. My troubles turn me to Jesus, but I choose to remember what he did for me today. I want to embrace the bittersweet sorrow of His torture, anguish, and death because it slays me and hurts my heart, and brings me to a humble appreciation of Him. That dark cloud inspires me. I want to live a life of purpose for Him. I desire to be even a speck of light that someone might see. I want my life to inspire others to embrace His glory, promise, and grace.
And one day, God will blow away all the dark clouds. I pray you’re having a holy, reflective Good Friday filled with His grace as we anticipate the celebration of Resurrection Sunday. His love abounds. Halleluiah!