“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bring his sheaves with him,” Psalm 126:5-6, NKJV
Good Friday or Holy Friday, no matter which name you call it by, it was a day of great tears and sorrow that ushered in a day of rejoicing.
From the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed earnestly until His sweat became as great drops of blood (Luke 22:44), to the illegal trials at night that stripped away any rights He may have had in the human form, Jesus knew anguish. He knew more than just the heaviness of heart. He experienced deep, physical pain – yet, the night was not over.
Had it stopped at the trials and mockery, some would say it was tolerable (though I wouldn’t). Let us not take lightly all that Christ endured on that night. For He not only bore the pain of stripes and nails, but He carried the weight of the world. He carried the soul’s destiny for every human that ever walked the face of this earth.
It was a time of great sadness. As a parent mourns over a wayward child, Jesus carried the burden of people in His bosom. Earlier He said, “How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37, KJV).
Now, on this night of sorrow, spiritually He is doing just that. No one could ever put into words the pain of what it felt like to hang on that cross and bear the sins of the world. But, as He hung there, with blood pouring down, He was in the gathering process. That’s why He couldn’t come down because even as He was nailed and left to die, He with great sorrow and tears, was working at gathering that would eventually lead to rejoicing.
What a clear head and frame of mind our Lord kept through it all. Most of us would have gone into survival mode under such duress, thinking of ourselves. Jesus went to survival mode, too. Not for Himself rather, “To seek and to save that which was lost,” (Luke 19:10, KJV).
As He hung there, He thought about all those that are captive by sin and needed a great deliverance. These people staring at Him as He bled knew a little something about being a people held captive. Their history repeats over and over again how they were forced out of their promised land due to sin and negligence.
But God didn’t leave them like that. In each instance, He brought a plan of deliverance and salvation into the mix. When they cried out, He saved them and brought them back to their homeland. They shed many tears as the farmer scatters seeds. Just like the seed, there comes a time where sowing stops and gathering begins and “shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him.”
As He hung there, Jesus was doing both. Sowing: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit,” (John 12:24, KJV). He was also gathering: “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. This He said, signifying by what death He would die,” (John 12:32-33, NKJV).
Jesus was sowing the seed in tears and at the same time reaping with rejoicing. On this Good Friday; this Holy Friday, we are now the benefactors of that great work done on the cross. When God brought the children of Israel back from captivity, the nations said, “The LORD has done great things for them.” (Psalm 126:2, NKJV). Their response was, “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are glad,” (Psalm 126:3, NKJV).
Jesus brought us out of captivity on that Friday. Through our life of sinfulness, we have experienced many tears. Through the sins of others, we will sow many tears. Now, because of Christ, we can also “Reap Rejoicing.” “And, we are glad!”