(Isaiah 9:18)

For wickedness burns like a fire;
It consumes briars and thorns;
It even sets the thickets of the forest aflame
And they roll upward in a column of smoke.

Isaiah 9:18

Today, Christians marks what we call Good Friday. We term it thus for many reasons, but I will content myself with the one that is foremost in my mind, that what took place on this day all those years ago was done for he joy set before Jesus. The event remembered today was not a tragedy, but the pivotal event in Heaven’s eternal plan to redeem such as would be saved.

What has that to do with today’s verse? The cross and all of the events leading up to it — interrogation, torture, beatings, shame, abandonment — are the price of my sin; my wickedness. Isaiah writes that wickedness burns like a fire, consuming even briars and thorns. Wickedness is so thorough in its consumption of a life that it will even destroy the immaterial things; the unimportant things; the ancillary details. Not only will wickedness potentially destroy lives and relationships and jobs and trust and so many other important things, but it can take away good looks and poison hobbies and ruin things that are not nearly so important. Wickedness consumes like a fire and the smoke billows. If we would only look, we would see.

Today, this Good Friday, let me remember that wickedness is thorough; that it consumes the important along with the unimportant; that it was atoned for and washed away by the cross of Christ. That washing away makes today good. Let me remember that the cross of Christ was endured for the joy set before Him and that makes today good. It is Good Friday, for the flames of wickedness can be snuffed by the living water of God if only we douse ourselves in that flow.

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