“Divine Sorrow”

Our Lenten Devotion for Good Friday, April 15, comes to us from Steadfast Love which features reflections and prayers by Ed Arle and Gil Duchow with inspiration from the works of Henri J.M. Nouwen.

3 He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. Isaiah 53:3

 

“Divine Sorrow”

“Now I look at the man of sorrows. He hangs on a cross with outstretched arms. It is Jesus, condemned by Pontius Pilate, crucified by Roman soldiers, and ridiculed by Jews and Gentiles alike”

(from Can You Drink the Cup?, by Henri J.M. Nouwen, page 35Henri)


Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” The prophet’s frightful description in chapter 53 of what would befall the suffering servant Messiah fit Jesus perfectly. He was acquainted with grief when he wept at the grave of his dear friend, Lazarus (John 11:33-35). On Palm Sunday, Jesus wept over Jerusalem, knowing what horrible devastation and destruction awaited its inhabitants (Luke 19:41). Four days later in Gethsemane, Jesus was overwhelmed by a much deeper, divine sorrow.


He realized that the heart of the Father’s plan of salvation for the world was for him to absorb into himself the sin and guilt of all humanity. His anguish became almost unbearable, as “his sweat became like great drops of blood” (Luke 22:44).

On that fateful Friday, Jesus’ sorrow turned into a terror far beyond anything we can imagine. As he became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), he was utterly forsaken by his heavenly Father for those three dread hours so we would never have to fear being forsaken by God. It’s no wonder we call that Friday “Good.”

 

Friends –

This day always reminds me to grieve not only for this horrible historic day, but also for the Good Fridays – the violence, murder, and genocide against the innocent among us. I grieve because I know that God intended for the cross to send the message that this kind of evil should never happen again.

--Pastor bea

 
Prayer:

O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us and grant us your peace, now and forever. Amen.