Friday, March 29, 2013
Isaiah’s prophecy is dead on. It is remarkable to think that this reading, which fits perfectly to the passion of Christ, was written 550 years before Jesus was born. Let me read some of the lines from this text again. As I do, look at or imagine the crucifix on which Jesus hung:
· “…he shall be raised high…”
· “…so marred was his look beyond human semblance…”
· “…there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him…”
· “He was spurned and avoided by people…”
· “…it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured…”
· “…he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed.”
· “…through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear.”
Isaiah’s prophecy has been perfectly fulfilled by Christ crucified.
In the midst of his passion Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom does not belong to this world.” And we can see this by gazing at the cross. No king of this earth is beaten, spit on, mocked or nailed to a tree. But his kingdom is not here.
Is your kingdom with Christ, the king on the cross? Or is it your family, career, sports, popularity, retirement or elsewhere?
If your kingdom is with anything but Christ this world makes no sense. Just look at a newspaper. Our world is full of violence, death, darkness and debauchery. There is no answer in this world to why good people suffer, cancer exists or wars ravaging all over the place.
Living in God’s kingdom, while not providing clear answers to such questions here on earth, helps us endure them. Jesus has gone through anything we can, and leads the way carrying the cross. We have only to follow as we offer whatever sufferings we face in our lives.
On this Good Friday we commit ourselves to being faithful members of Christ’s kingdom. And we dare proclaim with the Psalmist: “But my trust is in you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God. In your hands is my destiny; rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.’”