"Witness the Suffering Servant" Christian liturgy on this day calls for us to remember the suffering Jesus went through on the last day of His life. Why is it important to remember His suffering? Perhaps it’s to realize in times of need our solace is in our relationship with the Divine.
When the time came for Jesus to embark on his final journey, he asked for time alone to talk to God. His disciples waited under the olive trees while Jesus walked ahead and prayed. He lay his burdens at his Father’s feet for he was troubled, however he wasn’t afraid of death or pain. His very heart was heavy-laden with the weight of the sin of the world on it. Like Jesus, we need to surrender our fears and turn to Him in meaningful prayer and discernment.
Why is it important to remember His suffering? Perhaps it’s to recognize that as Jesus walked that lonesome Calgary Road, so must we. In the lyrics of hymn “Jesus Walked this Lonesome Valley, Community of Christ hymnal #452, it reads: “You must go and stand your trial, you have to stand it by yourself. Oh, nobody else can stand it for you. You must stand it by yourself.” Yes, there will be difficult times, but we must have faith and be comforted by the knowledge that we don’t walk the valley alone. God is with us. There was only one path for Jesus and that was to the cross. So must we too carry our cross in the same manner and surrender wholly and fully to God’s will.
Why is it important to remember His suffering? Perhaps it is to remember that hard times don’t last forever. For three days after Jesus’ death, darkness descended over the world. Many might have thought it was the end of days, not fully understanding it wasn’t the end, but the beginning of true salvation for everyone. We are all worthy of His compassion and His forgiveness – be assured. That assurance is dawn in the distance, light on the horizon. It is HOPE for all mankind.
The world reawakened with Jesus’ resurrection and so, too, on this day, we must remember Jesus’ suffering not as a reminder that His life ended, but the new beginning his sacrifice gave us all.
What possibilities do you see for the compassion of Christ to be transformational in today’s world? And how can you be part of that transformation?
(author: Deb VanHeest)
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Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.