This week we prepare our to remember Jesus’ suffering and death for our sake on Good Friday. It is a somber day, one in which we reflect on our own sinfulness and our great need for redemption. It is a day in which we remember the mocking, scourging, taunting and torture that Jesus bore on our behalf. And yet, we can rejoice with quiet gratitude for the great love poured out upon us.
In the Biblical Literature I class, our students recently reflected on Isaiah 52:13-53:12, the “Song of the Suffering Servant,” a prophecy of the crucifixion of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. With permission, I share the thoughts of a couple students.
“Christ’s death is truly a joyous occasion … despite the severity of our sins we can constantly be joyful of Christ’s innocent suffering and death in order that we may receive eternal life.”
“I can love those around me (especially my enemies) because God loved me, and sent His Son to die on the cross for me and them.”
In the Lord’s Prayer we pray, “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Jesus demonstrated that very forgiveness when he said from the cross, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Our sin put Jesus on that cross, and yet He still pleaded for forgiveness for the very enemies who tortured Him.
Martin Luther wrote, “We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look at our sins or deny our prayer because of them. We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment. So we too will sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us.” (Small Catechism)
Rejoice in Forgiveness! Jesus conquered our enemies of Sin, Death and Satan. He freely gives Forgiveness, Life and Salvation to all who believe in Him.
Deaconess Dr. Deborah Rockrohr,