Good Friday: A Day of Gratitude

“‘It is finished,'” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30

There’s a song we sing during Lent that never fails to make me cry. The lyrics go like this: “Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they nailed him to the tree? Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.”

Today is Good Friday. The day our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. He came to save his people. On this day we suffer with Jesus as he was whipped, spat upon and nailed to the cross. He came into the world knowing that he would make the ultimate sacrifice for humanity. He knew the pain he would endure. And yet, he accepted it willingly because of the immense love he has for us. By His wounds we are healed.

As I listen to those lyrics I tend to place myself at the foot of the cross as Jesus was crucified. I think of the women who where there weeping. I think of our Blessed Mother and the pain she felt to witness her son’s crucifixion. As the images fill my mind I too am filled with the pain and sadness experienced on this day. However, I am also reminded that because of this day I was redeemed. I was saved. I was forgiven of my sins. I received a new life in Jesus Christ. The veil was torn in two and our hearts became the meeting place between heaven and earth and the dwelling place of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. And we received eternal life with Christ.

While this day is filled with extreme sadness, it is also a day for extreme gratitude. Gratitude for what Our Lord did for us. Gratitude for his great gift of love. Gratitude for the never-ending mercy Christ offers us. Gratitude that we have such an incredible and good God. Gratitude that we’re able to call ourselves sons and daughters of God. Gratitude that we know Jesus and carry him in our hearts everyday.

May you all have a blessed Good Friday.

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