I think His arms opened wide were to show us that He’s always willing to embrace us. I see that death as a symbol of His willing love. He will always stand up for us. He will always open His arms wide, both in death and in life. There is nothing we can do to fall out of His favor, to fall out of His love.

Again I look with the eyes of my heart and I see that His arms opened wide are the opportunities He’s purchased for us. Endless, He says. Limitless. He gave it all so we could have it all, and all is ours.

I see a love that has no boundaries, from the east to the west are our sins removed from us. We are not bound to any patterns, to any addictions, to any suffering. Any pain here is not only momentary but eclipsed by glory. We have been embraced by Him on the cross. All of us.

I find this truth to be the only way I can embrace others, all others. The punishment He took on the behalf of all who ever hurt me, as well. I have no need for vengeance, no root for bitterness. I look and I see a God who took it all upon Himself when He didn’t have to. He never had to take responsibility for our problems, but He created us and He loves us too much to let us self-destruct. He had to make a way and so He did. 

Someday I will run to Him, with my arms wide open like His. i will find myself in an embrace that was guaranteed long before I was born. My heart skips at the thought of this moment, and so does His. What helps is when I close my eyes and imagine Him before me, I see Him. And again, He holds His arms out, and I am embraced. I’m reminded not to flinch when I think of His resurrected body, beaten, hurt, bleeding, and dying. In His embrace, He affirms me that He is alive and well. I’m encouraged through the times when life looks flinch-worthy that He’s alive and well. And if He’s okay, and He’s smiling, so should I be.

What do you see when you see His arms opened wide on the cross? Do you see a suffering man or do you see an Overcoming King? He knew what He was doing. He still does. We have every reason to celebrate Good Friday, because it’s proof that Love cannot be killed.