Good Friday…The Reason I Sing

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

When I exercise, I play music at the highest volume.  When I’m alone in the car, the roof and windows are open, and I sing along.  If no one is home, I sing in the shower.  I play music during quiet time, yard work, and when I’m by myself.  I listen to hymns, gospel, blues, classic rock, oldies, and country.  The genre doesn’t matter, Jesus Christ puts a song in my soul.  In times of happiness I sing.  But more important, when I am suffering, He makes me want to sing.

I am quite sure Jesus Christ sang.  He quoted the Psalms frequently, which implies these Psalms were songs on His heart. In His suffering and agony from the cross, He cried out a phrase from Psalm 22, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me,” which makes me pause and wonder, “Was He perhaps quietly singing this messianic Psalm over and over in His mind to quiet His sufferings?”  Because suffer He did:

The soldier drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. He moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some for flex movement. The cross is then lifted into place.

The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down. A nail is driven through the arch of each foot, leaving the knees moderately bent.  As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in His wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along His fingers and up the arms exploding into HIs brain.  He pushes Himself upward to avoid this torment, causing Him to place the full weight on the nails through His feet. He feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of the feet.

His arms fatigue, cramps sweeping through the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward to breathe. . . .  Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one small breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds in His lungs and  blood. The cramps partially subside. In short spasms, He is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen.

Hours of these cycles of pain, cramps, and partial asphyxiation continue while tissue is torn from his lacerated back when he moves up and down against the rough timber. A deep, crushing pain begins deep in His chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.   —loss of tissue fluids reached a critical level—the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues—the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. . . . He can feel the chill of death creeping through his tissues . . . . His mission of atonement has been completed. [1]

This suffering paid for our sins because prior to this day Jesus was tempted by every sin, yet He did not commit a single one. He lived a perfect life. The punishment for sin is death. Every human born sins (Romans 3:23). Jesus died and justifies those who accept His sacrificial death.That moment of faith declares us not guilty of our sin, because in that moment of faith, we are crucified with Him (Galatians 2:20).

Being crucified with Christ means we die His death, and in doing so we receive His life, His record of perfection. Yes, we are sinners; yet our record of righteousness before God is the life record of Jesus. What a reason to continue to live a life of faith.  We don’t continue to live a life of faith by following a set of rules.  We live a life that continues the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We go forward living a life  in line with the life Jesus has transferred to our record.   We continue out of love and gratitude for Jesus! He gave us His life-He gave us His righteousness! That is reason to sing!

When we suffer in a way that is similar to another person, we share a common bond with that person.  The same is true at a much higher level when we come to faith in Christ.  Because our faith In Christ transfers the life record of Jesus to us and His record includes suffering, we connect with Him in suffering. We  share a fellowship, a kinship with His suffering, and we recognize that our sufferings pale in comparison to what He suffered.  We accept our suffering because we trust God is using it for His purposes. We have experienced the way God used the suffering of Christ to atone for our sins. We know He will use our suffering  for our good, the good of others,  and for His glory.  We may  never understand His purposes, but we are assured God will make beauty from those ashes.

In our suffering we are able to sing!  Our  singing may be a quiet hum, or listening along, and it is often  through tears and prayers. Yet, we have the melody of Christ to guide us because we are crucified with Him!

This is GOOD Friday.

I am crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives within me,
The life I live now in the flesh, I live through faith in the Son of God!

Thanks be to God!

[1] The Expositors Bible Commentary, Volume 8. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984), 775-780.

 

About Tommye Lambert

Tommye Lambert is the founder and President of Live and Proclaim Ministries Tommye is a teacher, speaker, writer, and minister. Tommye has written and edited devotional journals, articles, small group Bible studies, church-wide curricula, and is a regular blogger. She speaks at retreats, workshops, worship services, and teaches in a variety of settings. Tommye serves on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) as the national patient voice representative for pulmonary medicine. Tommye is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry at Beeson Divinity School. After a seventeen-year career in healthcare, Tommye resigned her laboratory medicine management position in 1996 when her husband was diagnosed with leukemia. She entered Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in 1998, earned an MDIV from Beeson in 2002, and served on the ministerial staff at Hunter Street Baptist Church in Hoover, Alabama, from 1998 until 2011. In late 2011, Tommye left ministry service at Hunter Street to become full time caregiver to her daughter, Amy. who went to heaven in November 2013. Tommye is married to Kerry and is the mother of four adult daughters. Tommye and Kerry are active members of Hunter Street Baptist Church where she teaches in Wednesday Night Life.

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