Isaiah 42:1-7;Psalm 27:1-3, 13-14; John 12:1-11He shall bring forth justice to the nations. (Isaiah 42:1)
Here we are at the beginning of Holy Week, a time when we focus our attention on Jesus’ suffering and death. Now, it’s entirely possible for us to relate to these events simply as onlookers, but we know that we are more than that. Each of us is personally involved in the events of this week since everything Jesus suffered was for our sake.
Today’s first reading is one of the four Songs of the Suffering Servant that appear in the Book of Isaiah. While the servant’s identity is somewhat mysterious, Christians from the very first generation have seen in him a foreshadowing of Jesus, the Messiah. The mission, even the very character, of this servant can give us so many insights into who Jesus is and why he suffered and died for us.
Key to the servant’s mission is the call to bring justice to the world. Of course, we can imagine this kind of justice as focusing on revenge, anger, and violence—a kind of vigilante justice. But that’s not the justice of God. His justice combines tenacity and strength with gentleness and compassion. It’s focused on caring for the weakest and hurting among us. He is concerned not so much with holding each of us to account for every fault as he is with restoring to all of creation what was lost through sin. So in God’s justice, we are the prisoners who are set free; we are the blind whose eyes are opened; we are the poor hearing the good news. All because the Lord has freed us from the bonds of sin.
So take your place in the drama this Holy Week. You’re not an onlooker; you’re a participant. Jesus is about to take your sin upon him and restore you to your place as a beloved child of the Father. Take the words of this servant with you this week. Rejoice that your Savior is gentle and full of care. His eyes are fixed on the “bruised reeds” and “smoldering wicks” in your life. He is mighty to save—to save you!
May the Lord make his salvation the central story not just of Holy Week but of our whole life!
“Lord, thank you for the salvation that you have won for me through your death and resurrection.”~WAU