that other thing that happened on Good Friday

“He offered himself as a mirror they could see themselves in, and they were so appalled by what they saw that they smashed it. They smashed him every way they could.”

Barbara Brown Taylor in Bread and Wine

It is one thing to consider the events of the crucifixion from history, that it really did happen to an innocent man all those many years ago. It is another thing to consider ourselves among his executioners, ones calling for him to be crucified. And there I stood and still stand to be sure, considering myself as one able to judge when I have no righteousness of my own to fall back on. In my flesh, on my own, I smash the truth I see of myself in his presence. I cannot look upon my own inadequacy with peace. It is too terrible.

But it is yet another thing all together to look at the truth of scripture and remember this: When he died, I died. And so instead of watching from thousands of years later or even standing among the dirty crowd who killed him, Jesus brings me closer. He put me on the cross with him – my old self, my sin, my terrible reflection. But while there together, He hid me within him and absorbed the punishment on my behalf. And thus set me free.

And so our life-perspective is one of a dead person. Who could be more free from the constrains and pains and worries of this life than one who has died? While our flesh remains as we walk on the gritty earth, our spirits have been made new.

This Holy Week, let us not simply remember something that happened to Jesus. Let’s remember something that happened to us.

“If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin, because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.”

Romans 6:5-7


  1. says

    “This Holy Week, let us not simply remember something that happened to Jesus. Let’s remember something that happened to us.” It’s Maundy Thursday here in Beijing. This is line will send me off to sleep and permeate my dreams. Thanks.

    (p.s. Love Barbara Brown Taylor’s writings, too!)

  2. Anna says

    Knowing you have been crucified, dead, buried, gone forever changes everything. It did for me and still does – love the reminder. X

  3. says

    You are absolutely right. It’s so easy to place myself in the story as one of the executioners. I know I am guilty. But I was crucified with Him and raised to newness of life. That’s the truly shocking part of this story, isn’t it?

  4. says

    Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. I have thought alot about Judas and the role that God created him to play. As I have looked at him I have seen myself. Judas handed Jesus over to the authorities, but my sin held Jesus to the cross. I am Judas.

    Yet Jesus washed Judas’ feet, and Jesus has forgiven me. Inexplicable Grace!

    • says

      I’ve been thinking a lot about Judas lately, too. Particularly, how he wasn’t a clear enemy. He wasn’t glaringly obvious – until the end, of course.

  5. says

    So very true and so very humbling. It is easy to imagine myself as one of those calling for Jesus to be crucified and looking on as a spectator. So humbling to think of my old self being crucified on the same cross and that Jesus took on the pain for me. So thankful and humble this Easter season for all that God and Jesus have done for me in my simple life. :)

  6. says

    When he died, I died. wow very empowering and humbling at the same time. This will be thought that will linger in my heart and mind the next three days. I have read Barbara Brown Taylor but don’t remember this quote. Great one. I reread it several times.

    Very penetrating post for me today. Thank you

  7. says

    And so my favorite, Colossians 3:

    “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

    Hallelujah! What a Savior!!

  8. says

    Emily, I just had to add the beautiful revelation your writing gave me a few minutes after I finished this piece.

    Today, I’m struggling hard with the pains of my earthly body. I am frustrated with all it’s brokenness-it’s scars, it’s pain, the rouge cancer cells that may or may not still remain-this body that time and time again has seemed to let me down. But in Jesus’ death I have been given a spirit that is free from brokenness and pain, even from death. A spirit that is everlasting and will one day dwell with Lord. How amazing!

    You have helped bring me to peace today, my friend. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • says

      What a beautiful reflection, Allison. I’m so thankful you have shared a tiny glimpse into your healing today – thank you so much for doing so.

  9. says

    You words remind me of the song, How Deep The Father’s Love For Us.
    “Ashamed I hear my mocking voice, call out among the scoffers,” but, “His dying breath has brought my life. I know that it is finished.”
    How amazing it is that we are GIVEN new lives from Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection! Thank you for this beautifully worded reminder.


  10. says

    Thank you so much for reminding us that “when He died, we died” too. Reminds me of Galatians 2:20: “For I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” So thankful it’s not me that is responsible to live this life, but Him. Amen and amen!

    • Pam says

      “So thankful It’s not me that is resonsible to live this life, but Him. Amen and amen!” Oh, to always remember this!

  11. Rebekah Robinson says

    I am a loyal reader and am often deeply touched by your insights, this time I had to tell you…thank you for this. This thought, this reminder, this Truth, this wisdom. Along with your ‘crowd of witnesses’, I so needed to hear exactly this today…The death of myself is not an end, but, in Christ, a glorious beginning!! Thank you!!

  12. says

    Amazing perspective here that sinks right into my heart and soul. What a Savior, what a love.

    I’d not heard of that book before ~ adding it to my reading list.

    May you and yours have a beautiful Easter, friend. I love you.

  13. says

    Oh friend, your posts this week have been beautiful. Just beautiful. And so very needed for this desperate soul. I’ve been reading you in my reader {on my phone} and haven’t commented but just know that I have soaked up every word, especially the ones in this post. The truth sets us free…I am just so very quick to lose sight of the truth and re-enslave myself. That’s why I love your posts, your beautifully-spun gospel words from one kindred soul to another. They serve to remind me of grace and freedom and Jesus in me.

    I hope you and yours have a blessed Easter weekend.

  14. says

    Wow, that blew my socks off…….put me in just the right frame of mind for Good Friday. Beautiful and terrible, just like that day really was and is! Lori

  15. Pam says

    Thank you for this reminder. I was caught up today, Good Friday, in what happened to Him, we did, do, to Him. That is a good thing to focus on, but to remember what happened to us, His gift, is a blessing.

  16. says

    Beautiful reminder, Emily. It’s so hard to strip away the guilt in order to get to that place where I realize once again He died for me. He did it for me. I am a new creation because of His sacrifice. Blessed Resurrection Day.

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