When Anna was just a little girl, we went for a walk around the block that Christy and I will never forget... Anna decided she wanted to walk on ahead of us and took off down the sidewalk, leaving us holding hands and thinking about how cute our little girl was. After a few paces, Anna’s foot caught an uneven segment of the pavement and she went straight to the ground. Not only that, she had her hands in her pockets and without being able to stop herself, smacked her face on the pavement. Her front teeth were all pushed in and the right front tooth was chipped along the edge. Her little face was instantly covered in tears and blood, and that was the shocking thing: blood on our baby’s face. When you see blood, you know that things have become very serious. When the skin breaks and oxygen hits blood, it instantaneously turns bright red and yells out to everyone looking, “HEY! We have a problem here!” When you see blood, it’s time to drop everything else and determine what needs to be done.
This week is Holy Week and today, on Good Friday we remember our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross. In preparing my own heart for this week, I have been reading the different accounts of Jesus’ trials in the Gospels. Every time I do something like this, a new detail jumps out and grabs my mind and heart, begging my attention. This week, in reading through our Lord’s various trials, I keep coming back to His trial before Herod. It was unique in that Jesus never said a word to Herod. For the high priest, He answered questions. To Pilate, He reached out; but with Herod, Jesus simply didn’t respond. Whoa. Jesus always talked to people. His compassion always reached out. It made me wonder what on earth it would take to make Jesus shut down completely...
Luke 23 says, “When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate.”
For Herod, the purpose of life was entertainment, pleasure and personal comfort. When Jesus was brought before him, he was excited because he had heard about the miracles Jesus had been performing and wanted to see some magic tricks. But the miracles of Jesus were never about entertainment. They were about compassion, mercy and freeing people from bondage. Herod wanted fireworks while Jesus was looking for faith. And this night was not about entertainment! Jesus had already been beaten and when He appeared before Herod, He was already bleeding... blood means, “Stop everything! This is serious.” Herod just wanted to laugh, clap and eat popcorn. When Jesus refused to perform or even respond, Herod and his men ridiculed and mocked our Lord. In the end, Herod was entertained... he got his laughs.
Life is not all about being entertained and comfortable. Life is serious. It’s all about love and the blood that was shed on that night. If our goal is simply to have a good time, we may miss out on everything that really matters. To the needy, broken, helpless and poor, the heart of Jesus always reached out, but to Herod, He said nothing at all. On this Good Friday, let’s be among those who take it seriously and remember with reverent hearts the blood that was shed for us.
Here are a couple of songs written for Good Friday: listen or download for FREE...