We have all heard the statement that “Perspective is everything”. I am quite certain that each of us can quickly bring to mind times when this was true in our lives.
A parent asks a child “Is your room clean?”
“Yes, just finished cleaning it,” the child answers.
The parent goes in to see books scattered on the floor, the bed unmade, and clothes layered “neatly” across a chair.
“ I thought you said you cleaned your room?”
“I did,” responds the child.
“It does not look clean to me,” the parent continues with increasing frustration.
“ You should have seen it before!” The child replies.
Many times perspective can be like an optical illusion where what you see changes as you continue to view it. But more often, in my opinion, perspective depends on your vantage point.
Throughout the years I have often used a visual illustration when doing marriage counseling with couples. I hold a sheet of paper up and have them, at the same time, say what they see. I am always amused by the look on their faces when they both boldly declare a different number. Why? Well it really is the same piece of paper but with a different number on each side.
A trick? No. An example! An example that comes to my mind every year is “Good Friday.”
How can a day that focuses on the brutal scourging and tortuous crucifixion of the most innocent (actually, sinless and perfect) man to ever walk on the face of the earth be “good”? Historians go into great detail in describing how his beard was plucked from his face, his body beaten, scourged until his flesh was literally shredded, a crown of thorns forced into his head, nailed to the excruciating pain of a Roman cross, mocked, humiliated, stabbed and finally died.
How could this be a “good” day? It certainly does not look or sound like it was a “good” day for Jesus.
On top of all of this he is described as carrying the weight of the sin of the world (including yours and mine) while on that cross. I can think of a lot of things to call that day; bad, terrible, horrible, rotten, unfair, painful, or even the worst day ever. Certainly not good… Unless. Unless there is more to see.
A different perspective. But what could that perspective be? How about the perspective of our Heavenly Father. He, while pained at what He saw, rejoiced that his plan to restore his relationship with his children was being completed. That’s “good”.
Even Jesus had the perspective that his work of satisfying the holy and righteous requirements of God to restore men to their rightful relationship with God was accomplished. That’s “good”.
How about a “today” perspective. Today, it was “that day” that provides us forgiveness of sin, healing, freedom, life, hope, peace, joy, victory, eternity with God, and endless other benefits. That is “good”…
Umm, great, fantastic, terrific, astounding, amazing… well beyond description. I guess we could just call it “Good Friday”!
I invite you to join us at NCC today at Noon for our “Good Friday” Service.
Then let the passion Jesus showed for you spill over into a passion for those around you. You still have time to invite that person God has put on your heart to join you on Easter Sunday.