April 2

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

When the prophet wrote these words about the Servant, he likely had in mind the nation of Israel, and the horrible suffering that had been endured by his people. They’re powerful words, and likely helped his readers come to terms with the punishment their ancestors had endured–perhaps there had been some purpose in Israel’s affliction. Many hundreds of years later these words became for followers of Jesus the perfect explanation for his suffering and death. The cross hadn’t been pointless after all–indeed, it became the core of the good news. Soon apostles were going to all the known world to tell sinners that in the death of Jesus all of their sins had been forgiven. Jesus had been wounded for their transgressions, and in response millions of people have turned to the cross to find wholeness and  healing. And even when our theologians’ atonement theories stop making sense,  and are rightly put on the shelf, the message of Good Friday rings true in our hearts. God loved us so much that in Jesus God died for us–there can be no greater example of love and reconciliation. Sin persists in this world–it’s ugly and pervasive and touches us all. But God in Christ brings forgiveness–and it’s a gift of pure grace. No wonder this day is called “Good.”

Thought for the Day: What Good Friday memory is dear to me?

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