April 10

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

“Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.” vs. 4

As news of the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe there were some who saw it as God’s punishment for humanity’s embrace of deviant lifestyles, or perhaps our failure to care for the earth. That’s not an unusual response. Religious folks have always been quick to blame natural disasters on profligate living–it’s a notion that dates all the way back to the stories of Noah and the flood. Isaiah presents a different perspective. By his reasoning, it’s the Suffering Servant (probably Israel) that has brought relief from infirmities by taking them on himself. His words were taken to heart by the followers of Jesus as they sought to make sense of Jesus’ death on the cross. “Upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.” It’s a familiar image, and one that comes readily to mind on this Good Friday. And it’s a story that is being lived out all over the world as we try to deal with the effects of this frightening disease. Everywhere there are men and women putting their own lives at risk, even becoming infected, in order to bring comfort and relief to those who are sick and dying. In the same way Jesus carried our diseases and put himself at risk, so that we might be healed. This pandemic isn’t a time for finding fault or assessing blame, it truly is a moment for thanking suffering servants and their amazing love.

Thought for the Day: How has Jesus healed me?

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