Good Friday is often morose, but the theology of atonement it embodies is profoundly about God’s provision. As God provided the Lamb for Abraham, so he offers the Lamb for the Church. On the Cross it is as if God is showing to us the magnitude of his love and the vastness of his grace and infinity of his goodness. Perhaps this story about largess and provision from Eugene Peterson (Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up in Christ ) will help us see the vast storehouses of God’s grace available to us this weekend — the death, the burial, the descent and the resurrection (into the ascension and rule) provide the redemptive power we need.
“Two friends, Fred and Cheryl, went to Haiti twenty-five years ago to pick up a child they adopted. Addie was five years old. Her parents had been killed in a traffic accident that left her without a family. As she walked across the tarmac to board the plane, the tiny orphan reached up and slipped her hands into the hands of her new parents whom she had just met….That evening, back home in Arizona, they sat down to their first supper together with their new daughter. There was a platter of pork chops and a bowl of mashed potatoes on the table. After the first serving, the two teenage boys kept refilling their plates. Soon the pork chops had disappeared and the potatoes were gone. Addie had never seen so much food on one table in her whole life. And she had never seen so much food disappear so fast. Her eyes were big as she watched her new brothers, Thatcher and Graham, satisfy their ravenous appetites. …
Fred and Cheryl noticed that Addie had become very quiet and realized that something was wrong — agitation … bewilderment … insecurity? Cheryl guessed that it was the disappearing food. She suspected that because Addie had grown up hungry, when food was gone from the table she might be thinking that it would be a day or more before there was more to eat. Cheryl guessed right.She took Addie’s hand and led her to the bread drawer and pulled it out, showing her a back-up of three loaves.She took her to the refrigerator, opened the door, and showed her the bottles of milk and orange juice, the fresh vegetables, jars of jelly and jam and peanut butter, a carton of eggs, and a package of bacon.She took her to the pantry with its bins of potatoes onions, and squash, and the shelves of canned goods — tomatoes and peaches and pickles.She opened the freezer and showed Addie three or four chickens, a few packages of fish, and two cartons of ice cream.All the time she was reassuring Addie that there was lots of food in the house, that no matter how much Thatcher and Graham ate and how fast they are it, there was a lot more where that came from.She would never go hungry again.
Come, the Lamb says to us, take and eat. Come, take and drink. You will never consume it all. Grace is abundant, more than you can ever know.