March 30, 2018
Isaiah 52:13-53:12…“But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.” vs. 5
The message of Good Friday can be overwhelming and it’s hard to know what to make of the central story of our faith. Each of the gospels tells the story in slightly different fashion, and much has been made of those differences, but there is no denying that the crucifixion is the core of the narrative. It seems obvious that Jesus’ death took his followers by surprise and that they struggled with how to make sense of it. No one had ever suggested that the promised messiah would be arrested, tortured, and killed as a common criminal. His ministry was supposed to end in triumph and not in tragedy! Those early disciples found their answer in the words of the prophet Isaiah. He was describing Israel as a suffering servant but they applied his message to Jesus–and the description fit. For the first time, they began to understand what Jesus had been trying to tell them. And ever since then, the suffering of Good Friday has been seen as integral to the salvation of humanity.
It’s still hard to understand how Jesus’ wounds can make us whole; it doesn’t resonate with logic for many–but it’s the mystery that gives the cross its power. It’s because we don’t get it that we are drawn to contemplation…and in our meditation God speaks to our souls…and we are healed.
Thought for the Day: How does the cross touch my heart?