Today is Good Friday. Today, Jesus walked the Via Dolorosa ─ "the way of sorrow" ─ to Calvary's hill. There, he placed himself on the cross of sorrow and shame ─ for my sake.
It is not too far fetched to say that on this day, I was granted a divine and sacred "marriage license." And, Easter Sunday is my Wedding Day!
I've been married to my beloved David for almost 36 years. We were married in mid-July in Chicago. He chose me to be his wife many years ago and he has been a loving and faithful spouse, friend, and life companion to me every day hence.
Long before David chose me, however, Jesus chose me. On the first Good Friday, Jesus loved me to the end. He showed his love by walking the path to the Cross. And there, He gave all because of his love for me.
Prior to the Cross, the Lover and the beloved could not share intimacy of love because of the barrier between us. The apostle Paul calls it "the dividing wall of hostility" because the sinner is helpless to approach the Sinless.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. . . . But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.[i]
In the death of Jesus, the sinner was given her marriage license to become the bride.
The rehearsal dinner took place in the upper room of Maundy Thursday where Jesus washed the disciples' feet and gave them the sacrament of his body and his blood to "eat in remembrance."
Good Friday made way for the two to become one. The legal contract between the two is now complete.
The apostle Peter tells us that Jesus "himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.[ii]
Whatever your earthly status, whether you are single or married, young or old, divorced or remarried, man or woman, because of the cross of Jesus, you are united with Him. The death of Christ is the eternal marriage license for all who name Christ Jesus Lord.
The wedding day of Easter Sunday is coming soon. The resurrection is the wedding of the forgiven sinner and the Savior; we are united with Christ ─ I am IN Him and He is IN me.
In the death and resurrection of Christ the Lord, and in the sinner's repentance and relinquishment of control and independence, the two can become one. Therefore, nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the Lover and from the love of God in Christ.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.[iii]
Today, I celebrate that "I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine."[iv]
I rejoice in your belovedness, too! May you drink deeply of his love for you on this Good Friday!
Thanks be to God!
[i] Rom 5:6-8
[ii] 1Peter 2:18-25
[iii] Rom 8:31-39
[iv] Song of Solomon 6:3a