Every Good Friday we are contemplating the sorrowful death of our Lord, Jesus on the cross. By his agape love, He gave His own life for the salvation our souls. He knew well what is like to carry the burden of our sins on the cross of Calvary but he humbled himself for the salvation of humanity. “Going a little further, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39). Let us not refuse our crosses in life because this is the only way of following Jesus. Let us not ask God to take away our trials, but tell Him to grant us sufficient grace to surpass the rough and hampered roads into our own Calvary in life.
Various circumstances in life may weaken our faith and even trample our dreams. Life seems so unfair and then hopelessness will conquer us. When we lost everything in this world, let us look upon the cross of Jesus. His obedience to Our Heavenly Father must be our guide for living. “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John15:13). He truly manifests a kind of love which is beyond sacrifices and pain. Jesus generously demonstrates His unconditional love to the human race even it means to suffer an awful death on the cross.
Look upon the repentant thief who was hanged beside Jesus. “Then he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom” (Luke 23:42). How inspiring! How grateful this man, though a criminal, he accepted his fate and lay down his future to Jesus. The unfathomable faith of this thief is worth emulating for when faced with unfavorable situations.
The different trials in life will strengthen us and give us the courage to move whatever hindered our path. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25). Resurrection is not a reward for the good works we have done, but a privilege given to all His beloved children. This repentant thief believed in his heart that Jesus is a King who will reign on His Kingdom of love, someday. “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43). Giving hope to others in times of difficulties will shed a light on their gloomy days. It is enough to uplift their drained and ailing souls.
How wonderful are the promises of Jesus that someday we would be on His paradise! What a promising gift to His faithful and obedient servants. God’s heavenly dwelling is beyond we could ever think of. It is a place of highest honor, glory and praise. “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3). The radiance of God will serve us the light that glisten the entire vicinity. This is the fullness of life beyond the cross of Calvary. It is indeed, a crown of glory beyond pain and shameful death.
In God’s dwelling place everybody lives in perfect harmony. It is where peace and boundless love reigns. It is a place wherein no more sorrow and pain – the perfect abode for all His beloved and faithful children. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the older of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). How I wish I would be with Him in the paradise someday. How about you? Surely, there would be a grand reunion in heaven – the wonderful place we all yearn to dwell in.