Tonight I sat at the Good Friday Service and sang the lines "I'll never know how much it cost, to see my sins upon the cross." It struck me that just as my kids will never be able to comprehend how much I love them until they have kids, I will never be able to comprehend the importance of Good Friday. Each year I go to church on Good Friday and wonder at the love of God. The fact that Jesus would die for people who haven't even decided to follow him yet amazes me. The fact that Jesus could die once for all of us completely astounds me. But I never realized how much about his sacrifice I'll never understand.
At my house we tell and retell the stories of our daughter's births. Nora will snuggle up on my lap and whisper, "Tell me about the day I was born." I'll begin the story and she will listen enthralled from beginning to end. If I miss a part, she'll tell it, then ask me to tell it again. She loves it!
In fact, the girls can tell you the story of each of their births. They'll tell you about how we weren't expecting it to happen then. They'll tell you how long it took to get to the hospital. They'll tell you who was in the room. They'll tell you about the first time I held them and how long it took for the first visitor to arrive. They know a lot. They think they know it all.
But they won't tell you about the pain I felt with Nora when the epidural didn't work. They won't tell you about the back labor I had with Britta. They won't talk about how close I came to having a C-section when they lost Britta's heart rate. They won't tell you those things because that's not part of the story we tell.
When we talk about their births, we tell the exciting and fun parts. We celebrate over and over the first time we saw them. We rejoice in how beautiful they were. We reminisce about how loved they were. We don't remember the scary or painful parts. They happened, but we don't think about them.
I do that with Good Friday. Don't get me wrong. It is a sad and emotional day. Reading the passion of Christ is painful. But I also think that we have a censored version in some ways. We know what happens and we can imagine how terrible it was, but we can't feel it. We don't know the pain and agony of Jesus. Just as I protect my kids from the painful details of their births, we are protected from the gruesome reality of that day. We can't understand it because we didn't experience it and we didn't experience it because Jesus did for us.
Just as I labored with each of my children, Jesus felt the pains of our rebirth. Just as I celebrate the birth of our children by telling and retelling their stories, Jesus celebrates our salvation each time we tell and retell the story of his death and resurrection.
We may never know the cost of our sins on the cross, but we know that Christ paid it. My girls may not know all the details of their birth, but they know that they are ours. Because they are ours, they want to be like us. Rejoice in the fact that God loved you enough to endure a death that we cannot even comprehend so that you can be his. Let the knowledge that you are his transform you to be more like him.