Tuesday March 14th. Isaiah 53. 3-7
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, ye he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth
Well known words, and it's hard not to start singing, (Handel had a lot to answer for!). But we know that crucifixion was a horrible and cruel death. Artists of the crucifixion often show a Jesus either looking very serene, or even smiling. Can't think that's how it really was. Rather a human body tortured and abused beyond recognition. Isaiah understands that the one to come, the Messiah was not going to have an easy time, but the reason for the suffering was not because of HIS wrongdoing, but the wrong doing of humankind. And by bearing the pain, the abuse, silently, HE could take on all the sin of the world, and by doing that it enabled a fallen humanity to be reconciled with a perfect creator God.
Lord God, thank you that in the kingdom of Heaven there is enough love to enable us to be a part of it, in the past, in the now and in the future. Thank you that Jesus made it possible.
Heather Garbutt Allhallowgate, Ripon