April 10, 2020

Good Friday

But I am a worm, and not human; scorned by others, and despised by the people.
All who see me mock at me; they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;
“Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”
—Ps. 22:6-8

No two passages of scripture seem to me to be more closely related than Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53:2b-3—
He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.
And there's no better day to meditate on these passages than on the day we commemorate the death of Jesus. The image of the Crucified One forever brings to the mind of Christians the extent of both God's love and human failure. As I am faced with our response to perfect innocence and peace, I will pray this prayer:

Savior of the world, what have you done to deserve this? And what have we done to deserve you? Strung up between criminals, cursed and spat upon, you wait for death, and look for us, for us whose sin has crucified you. 

To the mystery of undeserved suffering, you bring the deeper mystery of unmerited love. Forgive us for not knowing what we have done; open our eyes to see what you are doing now, as, through wood and nails, you disempower our depravity and transform us by your grace.* I pray this in the your Name, who taught me to pray: Our Father...

*Common Order, Church of Scotland (1994)

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